Inspired by this German experiment, Skipper asks if we should bring back transportation. Australia’s turned out well, supporting the notion that criminal tendencies are socially rather than genetically engineered. But back in the eighteenth and nineteenth century we were far more radical; this German youth will spend just nine months away from home.
Given that criminal behaviour is, in the main, a by-product of wider social breakdown the idea of taking criminals out of their communities is a good one. Yet, I suspect nine months of exile will enjoy only limited success. It sounds like an extended company away day and those usually fail; take people out of their usual context and they behave differently, put them back and they revert. The lifestyle change needs to be permanent.
Perhaps this German lad’s experience should be broadcast live so he returns home a reality TV celebrity.