Some parents try to think of creative ways to teach their children lessons in discipline, but after a certain age, things like washing out someone's mouth with soap or putting someone in a "time-out" don't work. However, one town in Ohio is using a T-shirt to teach petty thieves a lesson in discipline.
According to the Star Beacon, people found guilty of theft violations in Ohio's Ashtabula Municipal Court can opt to wear a T-shirt that read "Thief" outside of City Hall in exchange for lighter sentences.
This is part of a program that Judge Laura DiGiacomo started last summer to allow selected offenders accused of nonviolent crimes an opportunity to receive less traditional punishment. The first two cases were two men convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol—they had to display signs warning passersby of the dangers of drunk driving.
So far, more than five people have chosen the T-shirt option, Tonja Amato, court administrator for the Ashtabula Municipal Court, told the Star Beacon.
"It's working," Amato told the Star Beacon. "I talked to one participant. They are embarrassed. It's a deterrent."
These offenders don't get away without other punishment, mind you. They still are subject to hours of community service, participation in courses and suspended jail sentences. And not every offender qualifies for the T-shirt option. DiGiacomo told the Star Beacon that the offer applies to people who she believes made a mistake and regret their actions, rather than repeat offenders.
"Cases are studied to see who might be a good participant, usually first-time offenders," Amato told the Star Beacon.
DiGiacomo used her own money to purchase the T-shirts, and Amato said that some offenders may have to wear their shirts in areas of higher visibility than City Hall.
What do you think? Is this a creative use of printed T-shirts or something else? Let us know in the comment section below.