In Fulton County, Ohio, a no-nonsense judge is requiring some criminals to wear customized clothing in public: neon green shirts with large, black letters announcing, “I’m a thief,” the Toledo Blade reports. To curb crime and provide a form of public punishment, Judge Jeff Robinson introduced the “criminali-tees,” and so far several convicted shoplifters, while performing community service, have worn the garish, attention-grabbing garments.
Public punishment, the judge said, serves as a deterrent, particularly at a time when more people are being tempted to steal from others. When the economy started to tank, the judge noticed “what appeared to be a huge uptake in the number of shoplifting cases occurring in the community.” He asked a thief how she expected to get away with stealing stuff from a busy retail store, and she seemed rather proud to know security cameras can’t spot shoplifters in a particular area. He decided shoplifters needed to “suffer a little bit of humility.” Te message appears to be having its desired effect. “Shoplifting cases are down,” he said, but the shirts alone aren’t the reason. Enforcement efforts have stepped up.