What Should Be The Penalty For Teenage Shoplifters? | Teen Ink

What Should Be The Penalty For Teenage Shoplifters? MAG

By Anonymous

   Teenagers who shoplift should not be punished as much as taught why they should not steal. Young people who steal often have no idea that thievery is morally wrong, and considers simply the apparent rewards and dangers of stealing and not the deeper ethical questions involved in the crime. But the true reason that shoplifting is wrong stems from the Golden Rule which says that you should "treat your neighbor as you yourself would like to be treated." After all, the material stolen might be cheap, while the consequences immeasurable.

Punishing teens with fines or community service merely impresses on them the fact that they could get caught and punished again in the future, as opposed to showing them that being caught is not what they should fear, but rather losing their reputation, pride, and self-esteem. These traits are priceless, while the goods stolen are comparatively worthless. To sum up, we must remember that these are not evil people, but rather ignorant , who do not understand the moral issues of shoplifting.n

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This article has 3 comments.

i love this so much!

on Jan. 10 2010 at 3:47 pm
acousticalex BRONZE, Garland, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 41 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist. That is all." Oscar Wilde

What if there is nothing morally wrong about stealing from a large corporation? If a man with three starving children runs out of Wal-mart with a loaf of bread, the family benefits more than the company suffers. And if a thousand men do the same, that's called welfare. The only big downsides to stealing from companies is when many people steal from them to the point where their profits clearly suffer, but with modern technology and the legal penalties for theft this is an unlikely result. With teenagers specifically, many shoplifters come from troubled backgrounds, have seen their parents practice unethical behavior and have realized that ethics are just a system to keep the masses in check and really have no natural significance. Stealing perpetuates the rebellious attitude of the modern teenager, challenges the conscience society has tried to shove down his throat and gives him a rush like few other natural activities. Teenagers who do not grow out of enjoying these benefits will likely end up in prison. So to me it's not a question of teaching these people right from wrong, because my friends who have gotten in trouble for stealing respond much better to legal consequences then the pep talks official and parents give them. It's a question of them learning that society's ideals are more easily upheld than broken or suffering the unfortunate legal consequences.

on Feb. 12 2009 at 11:43 pm
this is a great article! i agree on everything! This helped me with my school project, Thanks a lot!