Adolf Hitler on Corporate Punishment

FloggingAdolf Hitler had a rather unconventional views (to put it mildly) on a criminal justice system:

The greatest vice of our penal system is the exaggerated importance attached to a first sentence. Corporal punishment would often be much better than a term of imprisonment. In prison and in penitentiary establishments, the delinquent is at too good a school.

The experienced criminals he meets there teach him, first that he was stupid to be caught, and secondly to do better next time. All that his stay in prison amounts to in the end is only an uninterrupted course of instruction in the art of doing wrong.”

A lot of criminal justice professionals would agree wholeheartedly. Indeed, the pain and (even more important) shame and humiliation of a corporal punishment (caning, whipping, flogging, birching, etc.) is a far more powerful deterrent of crime than imprisonment.

In just about every country abolition of corporal punishment (with other things being equal) was followed by a significant increase in crime. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats in the Reich Ministry of Justice did not agree with the Führer on this issue and he was way too preoccupied with other issues to order and enforce this radical reengineering of penal system in the Third Reich.


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