How should theft be punished? Should punishment differ for children and adults? read more
I think depending on a few factors such as
2) the total amount that person has stole
3) how many times it has occurred
If they continue to steal then obviously the punishment should be more sever. There could also be a factor due to mental disability as to why they are stealing in the first place.
I think if it's a juvenile then retuning the item(s), I believe that is enough of a punishment/embarrassment. If it continues then once again there must be a hidden reason for this juvenile to be acting out inappropriately, such as seeking out attention, testing boundaries or even wanting boundaries.
Judge Joe Brown, who is known for his progressive punishments, once sentenced a man for theft. His punishment was that Judge Joe and the woman he stole from would make periodic trips (until the woman made her decision) to this thief's house; and, the woman could take any object that she liked. She could take his TV or his stereo or his couch or an object of jewellery or anything else she wanted - one item. This was to give the offender the chance to know how it feels to have something of his taken without his consent.
The answer varies with the particular country in which the theft occurs. In some countries, the price or penalty is quite high and heavily enforced. To take the USA as an example, one of the problems faced is too often there is little or no punishment carried out for the crime. Take a stolen car for example, if the perpetrator is a first time offender, his attorney argues for leniency and there is a good chance he gets off with only probation. Let's say the same guy then steals another car after his probation period has expired. Now he gets sentenced to five years and comes up for parole in two on good behavior. Too oftern in the USA, the criminal must be a three-time loser to see the level of punishment that should fit the crime. This is driven in part by over-crowding in our jails and in part by a public consciousness bent on rehabilitation. WB
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