Articles on Punishment

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Are police being asked to do too much? North Charleston

Why are police inside public schools?

Police in schools are being asked to deal with a range of issues, such as being a mental health counselor for a traumatized child. It is unfair to the police and can be harmful for children.
One South African school issues ‘demerits’ if their pupils speak anything but English. David Ritchie/Cape Argus

How schools use language as a way to exclude children

Schools and universities in post-colonial contexts still operate within the logic of coloniality. This is starkly illustrated by their language policies.
South Africa is slowly transforming the retributive Western criminal justice system it inherited from colonial times to incorporate African principles of reconciliation and reparation. shutterstock

Why South Africa’s tentative moves toward restorative justice need support

The emergence of the restorative justice philosophy responds to the need to change South Africa's retributive criminal justice system to accommodate African legal practices.
It can be tempting to lecture or punish kids for a disappointing end-of-year school report – but a recent study shows that’s likely to backfire in later years. www.shutterstock.com

If you want your child to bring home better grades, stop yelling and try this

Right now, teachers across Australia are busy writing up end-of-year report cards for nearly 4 million school students. But what should you do if your child brings home a report you're not happy with?
A NSW programme in which prisoners train stray dogs as part of their rehabilitation is one of a number of innovations adopted in recent years. AAP

Crime and punishment and rehabilitation: a smarter approach

Approaches to crime that rely on punitive methods have proved to be ineffective and counter-productive. Rehabilitation programmes not only prevent crime, but are cost-effective and practical.
Unless most prisoners are given a realistic prospect of rehabilitation, how much good can prison really do? Shutterstock/sakhorn

What are prisons for? Answering that is the starting point for reform

Sentencing policy is a mixed bag of approaches: punishment, deterrence, protection and rehabilitation. The system will remain costly and ineffective until punitive instincts give way to a more rational approach.
Two Australians will soon be killed at a prison on the Indonesian island of Nusakambangan – for no deterrent effect. AAP/Darma Semito

There is no evidence that the death penalty acts as a deterrent

Joko Widodo argues that Indonesia needs to execute drug offenders like Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to deter others, but he can produce no evidence to support this claim.
Individual circumstances, including evidence of remorse and rehabilitation over the past decade, don’t matter in the cases of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. EPA/Made Nagi

Barry Jones: The deep bilateral hypocrisy on the death penalty

The plight of Andrew Chan and Myuan Sukumaran in Indonesia illustrates how the death penalty is always highly politicised.
Punitive measures aren’t always the best way to discipline students in class, despite what teachers are taught. SHutterstock

How teachers are taught to discipline a classroom might not be the best way

The national review of teacher education, released last week, emphasised that teaching graduates need to enter the classroom with practical skills for handling a classroom, and not just knowledge of the…
Australians don’t like the death penalty – we just don’t want the discomfort of having to care about the people it’s applied to. EPA/Made Nagi

The Bali Nine, and how not to argue for the death penalty

Barring some sort of last-minute miracle, two relatively young Australian men, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, are going to be killed by the Indonesian state. They will not be the first to die this way…
Justice and forgiveness can co-exist so that one may encourage the other. Steve Calcott/Flickr

Eye for an eye? Why punishing the wrongdoer helps us forgive

One of the inevitable things in life is that someone will do or say something to upset and hurt us. While forgiveness is a good way to overcome such hurts, we also don’t want people to get away with what…

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