Western society has jumped ahead along the 'punishment/deterrent curve' ostensibly due to the more recent scourge of illicit drug use
Over 97% of the 108b 'circa' Homo sapiens adults that have lived on terra firma during the last 125,000 years did so under the risk of Early Capital Punishment practices globally. Judicial Corporal Punishment Previously Sentenced In Australia evidence severe floggings with the Cat 'O Nine Tails for sometimes relatively insignificant offences.
Both Capital Punishment and Corporal Punishment were removed from the various Australian states' Crimes Acts by 1985 - relying upon various arguments that Australians society had advanced beyond such severe Punishments / Deterrents.
But has the pendulum has swung too far, too fast because of the effect of illicit drugs?
Over 120 women and children were murdered in Australia each year in the two years between 1 July '12 and 30 June '14, whereupon the murderers, if convicted, were consigned to a steel cage - many until they die - a further costly impost upon the Public Purse.
Society has unwittingly jumped ahead along Homo sapiens 'sociology development curve' regarding punishments and deterrents sentenced due to the subsequent expansive usage of illicit drugs and the associated detrimental effect on drug users' mental state - mental health has become a huge problem in Australian prisons.
* As at 30 June 2019, 933 prisoners in Australian prisons were serving a sentence of 20 years and over or a Life Sentence with a Public Purse cost of $175,000 pa per Maximum Security Prisoner ($150,000 pa Admin Costs and $25,000 pa Capex Expenditure costs); and
* Over 50% of inmates return to jail within three years of being released, many because they suffer mental health illness with many craving an institutionalised environment that they had become accustomed to.
The same rational/logic that undermines the traditional theory of Social Disorganisation that links crime rates to 'neighbourhood ecological characteristics', can be applied to the material increase in inmates due to -
(a) large numbers of Australians dependant upon illicit drugs with associated erratic behaviour; and
(b) some illicit drug users resorting to crime to sustain their addiction,
thereby creating a large cohort of prison inmates not envisaged/foreseen by proponents that lobbied for the removal of both Capital and Corporal punishments from the start of the 20th Century.
The enormous increase in the use of illicit drugs by Australian residents in the last 30 years or so has materially increased the incidence of criminal offences and the mental health of the majority of inmates. "60% of male and 70% of female inmates had a history of illicit drug use". Many drug users fund their addiction by supplying drugs to other addicts.
Below is an extract from DOING TIME - DRUG USE IN AUSTRALIAN PRISONS - Bulletin volume 4 edition 1 - 2016:
"Of those surveyed 13 percent of women and 14 percent of men said they had injected drugs while in prison...”
2009 NSW Inmate Health Survey: Key Findings Report - Executive Summary snapshots inter alia the material problems associated with inmate behaviour, mental and physical health of inmates in NSW jails.
Drug Taking - Needle Sharing - Hepatitis - Mental Health contains extracts from three articles on the impact of illicit drugs on inmates in Australian prisons.
Below is an extract from CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA - A Memorandum by the South Australian Branch of the Howard League for Penal Reform dated Oct 1961 that successfully lobbied the removal of Corporal Punishment in South Australia:
Based on the above final sentence, one ponders whether the Howard League for Penal Reform would have anticipated almost 60 years ago a recidivism rate of over 50% in Australian prisons; the predominant use of illicit drugs and its impact on mental behaviour could not have been anticipated by The Howard League and other similar proponents for the abolition of Capital Punishment back in 1961.
One would also have to contemplate if the Howard League for Penal Reform would have anticipated the Baker's Dozen Problems Within Australian Prison System.
Hence, the arguments presented by those opposed to Corporal Punishment and Capital Punishment that influenced the banning of both forms of punishment for criminal offences around the middle of the last century have been proven unsound, ostensibly because of the afore-mentioned impact of illicit drugs on criminal behaviour that was not foreseen by such opponents.
Three million years ago Homo erectus were more savage. If it was a cold, wet night and you did not have a cave, but your neighbour did, then you likely waited until s/he was asleep, entered the cave and clubbed your neighbour, and possibly his family, to death and likely ate the corpse/s and took over the cave until you suffered the same fate. Such savagery still remains amongst some other carnivorous animals. The mountain lion will stork the slowest buffalo.
Early Capital and Corporal Punishment practices - globally chronicles various barbaric Capital and Corporal punishment practices dispensed in the last 2500 years or so across the globe in order to deter Homo sapiens from various crimes against other Homo sapiens.
Judicial Capital Punishment and Judicial Corporal Punishment evidences that both were brutal and exceedingly frequent on a per capita basis in Australia until the mid-nineteenth century even for minor offences. Some males were executed for stealing food to feed their family.
This Discussion Paper -
a) chronicles that Capital and Corporal punishment practices in many parts of the globe have relatively recently been replaced by incarceration in small steel cages, sometimes until the prisoner dies of natural causes - At 30 June 2017, 529 prisoners in Australian prisons were serving sentences of 20 years and over and a further 404 serving a Life Sentence;
b) recognises that numerous scholarly papers by researchers and practitioners contend that Capital Punishment does in many cases not provide a potent Deterrent. Sadly, no academic/practitioner when professing their opinion has factored in -
(i) the materially higher cost upon the Public Purse of life long Maximum Security Incarceration (@ $150,000 per inmate p.a. Administrative Costs, nor the $25,000 p.a. Capital Expenditure Cost Of Building New or Modify/Extending Existing Prisons of notorious prisoners that will never be released (eg. Ivan Milat, Peter Dupas, Adrian Ernest Bailey, Neddy Smith, Martin Bryant, Codey Herrmann et al); when their Guilt is Beyond any Doubt. Government is obligated to expend the Public Purse cost effectively, predominantly upon health and education of taxpayers and prospective taxpayers and
(ii) that the
Quality of Life
at best is very low, and generally negative due to
c) similarly observes that no scholarly papers have delved into the cost-effective benefits of swift, frightening and painful Corporal Punishment that served Homo sapiens for 100,000 years circa; and
d) sets out many of the Baker's Dozen Problems Within Australian Prison System and Material Public Purse Prison Costs - replicated in Northern America and Southern Europe 'et al'; and
e) argues re-introduction of Judicial Corporal Punishment in Australia (after reviewing the success of Corporal Punishment in Malaysia and Singapore) by sentencing Suitable Male Criminals for Non-Murderous Crimes depending on the severity of the criminal offence to -
(i) lashes of the Cat 'O Nine Tails liberally struck upon the bare back above the kidneys; and
(ii) canings of an
Australian Rattan liberally struck upon the bare buttocks
below the kidneys,
f) re-introduction of Sentencing both Judicial Corporal Punishment and Judicial Capital Punishment in Australia for Sadistic, Brutal, Premeditated, Unprovoked Murder as set out in Thinking Outside the Cell to increase the Deterrent effect upon others.
Over 97% of all Homo sapiens that have been born on terra firma lived under what is presently viewed by some as barbaric, namely Capital and Corporal punishments. It is surprising that in the last scintilla of human existence (less than 100 years) that Capital and Corporal punishments has been abandoned in some countries because pursuing Justice for the Innocent Victim/s through Swift, Frightening and Painful Dose of Corporal Punishment as an unappetizing Deterrent is infinitely more cost-effective.
On Tues 5 Jan 2021, an unlicensed 25 year old Wellington NSW man drove into four children and the mother of three of the children, killing two boys and injuring the other three. Jacob Donn struck the group – who were walking by the side of the road on their way back from a swimming pool – with his Holden Commodore at around 4:30pm, near the corner of Wayne and Raymond streets in Wellington, south of Dubbo.
Mr Donn has been charged with 14 offences including dangerous driving occasioning deaths, a never licensed person driving a vehicle on a road, failing to stop and assist after impact causing grievous bodily harm, and possessing a prohibited drug.
Western society's preoccupation with prison sentences is at least 100 years ahead of the 'human sociological development curve'.
Reversion to some earlier/more cost-effective punishment practices (from Level 1 to Level 6 of the Penalty Scale as outlined in the Sentencing Act 1991 - Victoria) for Suitable Male Criminals is necessary in the shorter term, until less fortunate Australians further enhance their QOL, become better educated, more civilised and respectful of others. This will only occur when the more fortunate Australians are more thoughtful to those less fortunate in the -
* genes they received in the womb;
* parental mentoring that they often did not receive; and
* education that they did not gain.
The Writer attended Catholic schools from 1955 to 1969 during an era when ‘spare the rod, and spoil the child’ was common parlance. From age 9, he, and the vast majority of his classmates, were whipped with a leather strap by school teachers on the hand or buttock for indisgressions. From about 4 years old until about 8 years old if he, or his brothers, transgressed in the family home, his father applied the wrong end of the feather duster to the wrongdoer’s open palm a couple of times, albeit sympathetically. But it still frightened. The Writer managed to survive and learn what was right and wrong in his household and at his schools where school teachers were respected and occasionally admired. Corporal Punishment did not negatively affect the Writer demonstrably. The fundamental 'Parent Punishing a Child in the Home' Model with a few smacks of the wrong end of a feather duster has existed since time immemorial. To the offending child, the punishment is swiftly administered, frightening and temporarily painful. Once punishment had been administered, rehabilitation back to a normal parent/child relationship rapidly followed.
Economic necessity dictates that Australia's Punishment/Deterrent approach forSuitable Male Criminals that commit Non-Murderous Crimes should be a Swift, Frightening and a Painful Dose of Corporal Punishment followed by Rehabilitation incorporating Education and Vocational Training to instil self-belief and optimism due to the opportunity to work for one of Supportive ASX 200 Companies for at least three months to expedite 'custodial release' utilising an Electronic Monitoring Device, ideally as taxpayers.
Documents in Corporal Punishment in three adjacent countries in South East Asia - Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei evidence that these three members of the Commonwealth of Nations in South-East Asia have ostensibly cost-effectively applied the Parent/Child Punishment Model to Deter adults from offending.
Judges should be authorised to apply the Criminal Codes that existed prior to Capital Punishment being desisted across Australian states and territories for One, Two or perhaps Three each year that is/are 'marked', or would be candidates Never to be Released, if found guilty Beyond any Doubt of a Sadistic, Brutal, Heinous, Unprovoked Crime/s.