Shame Penalties

In America, tough sheriffs and judges use shame penalties to punish convicted criminals. They claim these punishments act as a deterrent to others but critics say these penalties are demeaning and ineffective.

One convicted couple has been sentenced to walk the streets of their town every weekend for the next six years, wearing a sandwich board detailing their crime. Offenders at Sheriff Arpaio’s jail are forced to work in chain gangs on the side of the road. Many citizens apparently approve of the use of humiliation to punish lawbreakers and are even taking on the task themselves. We meet one man who has made it his personal crusade to shame the clients of the prostitutes in his area, by filming them and posting the videos on the internet. Whilst another is using his video camera to catch police who violate traffic laws.

Combining justice and entertainment may be archaic practice but it seems to be making a modern comeback.


  • Year: 2012
  • Duration: 58 MINS
  • Production: Piments Pourpres Productions
  • Director: Olivier Pighetti
  • Available Versions: FRA
  • Country of production: France

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