Naming And Shaming Juveniles "medieval": Expert

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2nd December 2009, 05:55pm - Views: 375

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Naming and shaming juveniles “medieval”: expert

Plans to name and shame young offenders on the internet are “medieval” and will

be counter-productive, RMIT University juvenile justice expert Associate Professor

Julian Bondy says.

Child offenders as young as 14 could be named and shamed on the internet under

new laws in Western Australia aimed at curbing anti-social behaviour.

Magistrates would be given powers to authorise the publication of the name and

photo of offenders aged 14 or over, with the state then able to upload the person's

identity and crime onto a website.

“Public shaming initiatives are counter-productive and a little bit medieval – it’s

basically the modern-day equivalent of putting people in the stocks,” Associate

Professor Bondy said.

“The research shows it’s only effective in very specific circumstances and these do

not include simply producing a ‘rogues gallery’ for public pillory.

“In the contexts where shaming has been used successfully in assisting

reintegration, it has included the close and active involvement of people who

respect and care most about the offender throughout the entire process. 

“This appears entirely absent from what is being proposed in Western Australia.

“The emphasis for young offenders is rehabilitation rather than retribution, which is

the basis for the laws preventing the identification of minors.” 

“The point is to give young people a chance to change direction, to support them in

moving away from criminal and anti-social behaviour, which public shaming will not

help to achieve.”

Associate Professor Bondy published extensively in the field of criminal justice and

juvenile crime.

He has researched knives and violence in the community, the reasons why young

people carry bladed weapons and evaluations of strategies to reduce re-offending.

Associate Professor Bondy is available for interview on juvenile crime and the

issues related to the naming and shaming of young offenders.

For interviews: RMIT University’s Associate Professor Julian Bondy, (03)

9925 2293 or 0411 260 866. 

For general media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, Gosia

Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.

2 December, 2009

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