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How can we increase young people's respect for the law?
This is a spin-off from my under-age sex question.

As a kid, I was very respectful of the law - policemen could lock you up in prison, which was a bad thing. Not only that, but my mother worked in the local magistrates court, so any hint that I could ever be in trouble would not only be met with the court's punishment, but also an absolute rollicking from my mum, the like of which I'd never experienced before.

As a result, I didn't break the law - the consequences terrified me, so I didn't shoplift, drink underage, etc.

Was I unusual in this or was this a commonly held view? If the latter, how can we restore this respect for authority so that young people genuinely fear the consequences of breaking the law, rather than laughing that the police 'can't touch them'. and celebrating receiving ASBOs?
asked in law, order, respect

jacquesdor answers:

It all changed when parents, schools - and the police - were no longer able to administer a sharp slap. Children know they can do what they like, any punishment is appealed in various courts and child power centres. They have nothing to fear.
Children taking their parents to court for having dared punish them. What sort of world are we living in ?
God I am old, I am beginning to sound like a real old ........ whatever IQ will allow me to say!!!

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xoloriib answers:

Something must be taken away from them when they commit an offence. Periodic detention works in some countries : instead of having the weekend off they are 'detained'. Another 'punishment' is community service whereby they spend most of the weekend engaged in community work. These are methods that work but there will always be opposition from some.

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wumpus answers:

Increase the rate at which crimes are solved.

At present, detection rates are pretty woeful, and particularly where petty crime in involved.

If more petty crimes were solved, respect for the work of the policeman would increase a lot.

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Russel.West answers:

If the punishment is such taht it is a detterant and the chances of being caught then there is no point in committing any crime.

Boundaries need to be set, tight at first for young children and as they grow up relaxed slightly and when they do finally hit puberty a whole new set need to be created reinforced with rewards for not breaking them so that when they do push a boundry there is an instant punishment - but not one so severe they resent it...

Lastly there is what should you do if your child gets in trouble with the law - answer - work with them and be guided by them as how to help your child not to reoffend, police and the judicial system would rather work with parents to ensure their children do not offend than criminalise them and therefore set them on a path which it has been proved is a slippery slope to reoffending.

If the core belief or moral of a child is such that they know there will always be a price to pay for any action - both good and bad then they learn to take responsibility for both their actions and inactions.

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