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Does periodic detention prevent reoffending?

By 12 April 2012 8

The sentencing of the voracious viewer of child pornography Daniel Julian to periodic detention seems like a very light approach to letting the punishment fit the crime.

I am no expert in what contributes to recidivism for criminals and look forward to your thoughts on whether periodic detention is a deterrence or not?

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8 Responses to
Does periodic detention prevent reoffending?
buzz819 10:00 am
12 Apr 12
#1

How long is a piece of string etc. Rehabilitation comes into different view points.

View point 1. People commit a crime, they should be locked up for such a time that is proportional to the crime that has been committed. Which is what most justice systems work like. It brings in a consequence for actions, which is a good thing, but then it locks all the bad people in the one spot, with nothing to do for years at a time besides becoming more frustrated and jaded towards society. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bleeding heart crim lover. just pointing out what happens.) So it’s like school, you will find that the people you hang around with directly affects the way you behave. Hang out with bad people, 9 times out of 10, your gonna become a bad person.

That is one reason why arbitrary full time custodial sentences are seen as not working. Especially for juveniles, the most impressionable of us all, if a kid is locked up for doing something silly, I don’t know, burglary, they go to juvenile detention, hang out with a heap of other kids and bravado kicks in, that kid is going to want to get out and be badder then the rest of the kids. Not a positive really.

View point 2. People need to be rehabilitated to such a point where they don’t want to commit another offence. What goes into that is anyone’s idea. There is so much that goes against people for committing crimes, that as soon as they do it, they have effectively ruined their lives, without prospect of rehabilitation. (Not including traffic offences and minor crimes.)

Example. Johnny, age 19, gets drunk with some mates, goes around to another mates house, who did not want to go out, Johnny sneaks in, takes something of his mates as a prank. He gets caught, goes to court and ultimately convicted for burglary. Now Johnny has a hard time of getting a job in the public service, defence, emergency services etc. Even if he spends years working hard at school, uni and temp jobs building up a good name for himself, he still probably wont get a public service job, because he has a criminal record, how does that go towards rehabilitation?

Does periodic detention work? For traffic offences and other such minor crimes from recidivist offenders, maybe.

HGp 4:52 pm
15 Apr 12
#2

The evidence suggests that those convicted of sexual offences are very unlikely to reoffend. Penalties not so relevant.

farnarkler 7:53 pm
15 Apr 12
#3

IMHO punishments should be so horrific that normal people would be so scared to commit crime, much like death penalties for drug offences in SE Asia. Those that still commit drug crimes in places which have the death penalty aren’t normal so their execution is making the the gene pool that little bit cleaner.

milkman 9:11 pm
15 Apr 12
#4

For normal people the shame and stress of being charged and put through the process is so bad that they wouldn’t dream of re-offending. For scumbags, they already don’t give a crap about anything (least of all themselves), so anything but gaol doesn’t make much difference.

I’d rather we the view that society needs to be protected from scumbags, and lock ‘em away. People (in ACT at least) inevitably get several chances, so when people are successfully prosecuted for multiple crimes, they’ve shown they can’t or won’t change.

Diggety 12:21 am
16 Apr 12
#5

I’m probably in a minority here, but wouldn’t a psychiatric ward be more fitting?

Society should demand his head is fixed, before walking amoung us again, IMO.

JonnieWalker 10:26 pm
18 Apr 12
#6

I read last week that the length of the sentence does has little effect on crime deterrence. The biggest impact on reducing crime is not the length of sentence, but the probability of a sentence regardless of the length. So the higher the probability of the offender 1) getting caught and 2) actually getting a custodial sentence once caught then results in a lower crime rate.

Kind of expensive in the short term, with more cops and corrections officers needed, but if it reduces the cost of crime to the wider society in the long run through a lower crime rate, it has to be worth a closer look. Mandatory 6-12 months for 3rd strike sound promising..

Tetranitrate 11:06 pm
18 Apr 12
#7

milkman said :

For normal people the shame and stress of being charged and put through the process is so bad that they wouldn’t dream of re-offending. For scumbags, they already don’t give a crap about anything (least of all themselves), so anything but gaol doesn’t make much difference.

I’d rather we the view that society needs to be protected from scumbags, and lock ‘em away. People (in ACT at least) inevitably get several chances, so when people are successfully prosecuted for multiple crimes, they’ve shown they can’t or won’t change.

Bingo – it’s fair enough to left off a first offender lightly, without a custodial sentence and if it’s not a serious crime, without a record, because as you say – when brought face to face with the criminal justice system, normal people can be scared straight.

But when someone is repeatedly re-offending, they need to be removed from society if only to protect everybody else.

buzz819 7:11 am
19 Apr 12
#8

Diggety said :

I’m probably in a minority here, but wouldn’t a psychiatric ward be more fitting?

Society should demand his head is fixed, before walking amoung us again, IMO.

But that does not satisfy the community’s need for revenge.

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