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by Peter Moskos

March 26, 2014

Like David Hasselhoff, but in Australia. And with a whip.

Not too long ago I was kindly very politely by a woman at the Australian Police Journal to restate my argument in defense of flogging. This goes back to my Festival of Dangerous Ideas talk last November. I am generally happy to oblige anything with "police" in the name, even if they don't pay. So I dusted something off and thought that was that.

Well perhaps I, er, mis-underestimated the APJ. S allow me to plug them:
The Australian Police Journal (APJ) is Australasia's pre-eminent non-fiction publication about policing.

The APJ is published quarterly on behalf of all the Police Commissioners of Australia in order to educate and inform police and interested members of the community, in policing and related topics - both contemporary and historical. From its humble beginning in 1946, the journal now has over 25,000 subscribers throughout Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Region and beyond.

The APJ is administered by a not-for-profit company representing all the Australian police services. Its articles are written by police and related professionals, and have a direct relevance to Australian policing.

Admittedly, that description is a bit dry, but that's actually just the kind of publication I love publishing in.

Anyway, it turns out that more than just flatfoot cops read the APJ. And it turns out my flogging story was their cover story. After the APJ article appeared, it was picked up by the mainstream Australian media. In the past few weeks, me or my argument against prisons and In Defense of Flogging has appeared down under here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. G'day, mate! (Best of all, because of the 15-hour time difference, even the morning-drive radio interview was at a civilized 3pm.)

And of Friday I'll be on "The Project." (Pronounced down-under with a long-O and, as my friend put it, "It's like the Jon Stewart of Australia, but more serious." Though actually my friend used the words, "...not as funny," but let's not quibble about his comedic taste.) Here was my first appearance on the Prooooject (though last time I checked you couldn't view from the US).

Anyway, all this is to say it's nice the flogging is still alive in Oz. Better yet that they're actually talking about alternatives to incarceration that are politically more feasible. I don't know if this will sell books or improve the criminal justice system in Australia... but a man can dream. Regardless, it's a bit odd to be a very minor academic celebrity in a land that is 10,000 miles away.


Kyle W said...

That's awesome. Maybe in our lifetime we'll see the justice system not turn people into worse people.

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