The Manilow Punishment

Brilliant crime-fitting-punishment story in the LA Times…

So when teenagers land in front of him for blasting their car stereos or otherwise disturbing the peace in this small northern Colorado city, Sacco informs them that they will spend a Friday evening in his courtroom listening to music — of his choosing.

So what kind of thing do they get subjected to:

Young people in Fort Lupton know that if they’re caught, they’re in for a night that could begin with the “Barney” theme song, move on to an opera selection and end with Boy George’s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.”


And does it work? Read the article to see some of the results. But it seems to be summed up in this quote from one young offender:

“If you see a cop car, turn your volume down,” said Gehrig, a convenience store clerk.

It’s not changed their behaviour fundamentally. But it works as a kind of deterrent. All they need to do is automate the whole thing: if you get busted (by the robot ears around town) your stereo automatically gets taken over for 24 hours by

Much better (and more fun) than ASBOs for sure.

4 thoughts on “The Manilow Punishment”

  1. This kind of thing was also successful for train companies attempting to disperse young people off their stations – they played classical music and it worked :-)

  2. I reckon a night of ‘Boom, Boom, Boom’ by the Outhere brothers on repeat would do the job.

  3. My partner and I had a similar idea last year for a D&AD brief (design against crime) and we focused on dark areas (tunnels corners), where the losers in question hang around. We wanted transform them with the colour pink and play Tom Jones, Barry White all night long. The approach works, but what happens when the kids get in to classical or Tom Jones? Now there would be problem. Bring back Gabba and let them play.

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