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www.corpun.com   :  Countries T-Z

COUNTRY FILES -- INDEX

Laws, rules and procedural details for the administration of corporal punishment, eyewitness accounts, also legal judgments and commentaries

Taken from official documents or reliable reports

with personal comments by C. Farrell


Afghanistan ¦ Anguilla ¦ Antigua & Barbuda ¦ Australia ¦ Austria ¦ Bahamas ¦ Bangladesh ¦ Barbados ¦ Belize ¦ Bermuda ¦ Bhutan ¦ Bolivia ¦ Botswana ¦ Brazil ¦ Brunei ¦ Canada ¦ Chile ¦ China ¦ Colombia | Cyprus ¦ Czech Republic ¦ Denmark ¦ Dominica ¦ Ecuador ¦ Egypt ¦ Estonia ¦ Ethiopia ¦ Fiji ¦ Finland ¦ France ¦ Germany ¦ Ghana ¦ Grenada ¦ Guatemala ¦ Guyana ¦ Hong Kong ¦ India ¦ Indonesia ¦ Iran ¦ Ireland ¦ Isle of Man ¦ Ivory Coast | Jamaica ¦ Japan ¦ Jersey ¦ Jordan ¦ Kenya ¦ Korea ¦ Lithuania ¦ Malaysia ¦ Maldives ¦ Namibia ¦ Nauru ¦ New Zealand ¦ Nigeria ¦ Pakistan ¦ Palestine ¦ Papua New Guinea ¦ Peru ¦ Philippines ¦ Poland ¦ Qatar ¦ Russia ¦ St Vincent ¦ Samoa ¦ Saudi Arabia ¦ Singapore ¦ Sierra Leone ¦ Somalia ¦ South Africa ¦ Sri Lanka ¦ Sudan ¦ Swaziland ¦ Sweden ¦ Switzerland ¦ Taiwan ¦ Tanzania ¦ Thailand ¦ Tonga ¦ Trinidad & Tobago ¦ Tuvalu ¦ Uganda ¦ United Arab Emirates ¦ United Kingdom ¦ United States ¦ US Virgin Islands ¦ Vietnam ¦ Yemen ¦ Zambia ¦ Zimbabwe


On this page: countries T-Z
Countries A-H are here
Countries I-S are here

External links on this page were all working in June 2014.
All external links on this page will open in a new window.

NOTE: Items not marked [HISTORY] are believed to be currently in force.

Current online school handbooks of schools which now (2013) use corporal punishment, in ALL countries, are in a separate section starting here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT EXTERNAL LINKS: The existence of a link from this website to an external website must not be taken in any way to imply that the website being linked to has any connection or involvement whatever with this website, or that the owners of the external website approve of or support or endorse this website, or vice versa. The permission of the owner of a publicly available external website is legally not required for normal transparent links of this kind, especially links from an entirely non-commercial site such as this one, and has not been sought. A hyperlink to another website is to be regarded merely as equivalent to quoting a reference to a published book and inviting readers to look for it in a library.

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TAIWAN: Judicial CP

From 1895 to 1945 this culturally Chinese island, often known in the past as Formosa, was part of the Empire of Japan. In 1909 its local government introduced flogging for native criminals using "a cane round which string is twisted". This was seen as a substitute for imprisonment; it applied only to males aged between 16 and 60, and there was a maximum of 25 strokes per day. Although this was reported at the time as a novelty, it seems probable that there would already have been the same long tradition of JCP as in mainland China.

    No further information is to hand until 1997, by which time Taiwan (aka ROC or Republic of China, as distinct from the People's Republic on the mainland) had emerged from decades of martial law and become a modern, independent, industrialised democracy. Officials were now looking to Singapore (which modern Taiwan in some ways resembles, though it has five times Singapore's population) for a solution to a wave of crime and gangsterism (Flogging mulled to deter crime, July 1997).

    Nothing came of that, and ten years later it was reported that politicians were calling for the introduction of caning for sex offenders. However, the Ministry of Justice rejected this idea on human-rights grounds.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Amnesty International Report 1998  (Alternative link)
Mentions that during 1997 the authorities were considering introducing judicial whipping, but no such measures had been implemented by the end of the year.

Amnesty International Report 1999  (Alternative link)
In 1998 the Minister of Justice dropped plans to introduce judicial whipping for juveniles.


TAIWAN: School CP

Corporal punishment, previously frequent, was definitively banned in all kinds of schools in Taiwan, public and private, in 2006. An earlier ban had been lifted in 1996.

    In practice, CP did not immediately cease as a result, but its incidence fell considerably over the next two years, according to official figures reported in April 2008.

    The 2006 ban came after heated debate sparked partly by the broadcasting on local TV of a video clip, taken on a student's mobile phone, showing a boy being paddled in class. The video clip itself can be seen here.

    Other video clips of classroom CP from that era are also available. Implements used and modus operandi vary.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Corporal punishment ban toothless
Article by a law professor (April 2010) who wonders why school CP is so persistent in Taiwan, despite all efforts to stamp it out.


TANZANIA: Judicial CP

This East African country inherited judicial corporal punishment from colonial times, both under German rule (from 1886, when it was called German East Africa) and, after World War I, under British rule (when it was called Tanganyika). The penalty is now applicable only to male offenders under 45. For a typical case shortly after independence from Britain in 1961, see this June 1964 news item.


Click to enlarge

    According to Keefe (1991), corporal punishment was used extensively during the German era. The picture (right) is from either German East Africa or what is now Namibia, also under German control at the time, and shows that the German method was to apply a strap or whip to the bared buttocks. The British colonial power (1920 onwards) replaced the strap with the cane, and allegedly made somewhat less use of JCP, and even proposed abolition in 1952, a move rejected by local opinion. After independence, says Keefe, flogging became a "paramount form of punishment" following the Minimum Sentences Act 1963, which made JCP mandatory for a variety of crimes (see Documents, below). This was replaced in 1972 by another Minimum Sentences Act, which repealed the mandatory aspect while retaining the penalty under judicial discretion.

    The courts continue to make use of the cane up to the present day, except on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, where it was abolished in 2004.

    When applied to adult men, caning is normally combined with imprisonment, as in these Jan 2008 cases, and in that event the custom is to deliver half the strokes at the beginning of the prison term and the other half at the end of it. Sometimes this is spelled out in the report of the court's sentence, as in this Oct 2013 case, where the court ordered two robbers to receive six strokes on arrival at the prison and six more on the last day of their 15-year term.

    The punishment is administered, privately in the prison, "upon the bare buttocks with a light [sic] rattan cane which is free from knots". In truth the implement is far from "light", being at least half an inch but not more than five-eights of an inch in diameter, and 42 inches (1 metre) in length (Corporal Punishment Order, s.2) -- actually thicker than the Singapore judicial cane, though not quite as long. Offences typically so punished include rape and robbery.

    Juveniles under 18 may also be sentenced to caning, often on its own without imprisonment, in which case the offender may have to drop his pants, there and then, to undergo his punishment in the courtroom itself, as reported in these Aug 2006 news items. In such cases the caning is "public" to the extent that it is watched by the magistrates, reporters and whoever happens to be in the public gallery.

    Surprise has been caused by a 2008 news report that a 14-year-old girl was ordered six strokes of the cane by a district court for stealing. This raises the question whether observers had been mistaken in supposing that the law on JCP for juveniles referred only to males.


DOCUMENTS:

Minimum Sentences Act, 1963 [HISTORY]
Legislation stipulating that certain offenders must receive at least 12 strokes of the cane on entering prison and at least another 12 strokes just before release. This was repealed in 1972 (but see below).


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

According to GITEACPOC, the Corporal Punishment Ordinance dates from 1930 and set a maximum of 12 strokes of the cane for juvenile offenders. The maximum for adults at that time was 20 strokes. GITEACPOC also confirms that juveniles may be caned on the spot, in the open courtroom.

Contemporary Tanzanian Penal Policy: A Critical Analysis  (Alternative link) [PDF]
See section 3.2 of this (unfortunately undated and poorly written) academic paper for a rant against judicial corporal punishment in Tanzania. According to this, legislation in 1972 reduced the maximum number of strokes to 12, and did away with the mandatory nature of the penalty, but retained the principle of inflicting the caning in instalments, with up to six strokes to be inflicted at the start of the prison term and six immediately before final release. This contradicts a statement by UNHRC (see next item) that JCP was abolished altogether in 1972 and only brought back in 1989. The information in Keefe (1991), as well as the latest information at GITEACPOC (see above), suggests that UNHRC have got this wrong.

UN Human Rights Committee, February 1997
This claims that judicial corporal punishment was abolished in 1972 but reintroduced in 1989. I think this is clearly a mistaken interpretation (see above), and that it is only the mandatory aspect that was removed in 1972. The situation in 1997, says this document, was that canings were ordered only for violent offences such as rape and robbery with violence.

1995: Attacks on human rights through the misuse of criminal charges  (Alternative link)
Amnesty International document. States that the High Court had ruled judicial corporal punishment unconstitutional but the government was appealing against the ruling.

Amnesty International Report 1997  (Alternative link)
States that sentences of caning were imposed, often for sexual offences against children.

Amnesty International Report 1999  (Alternative link)
In 1998 the government was considering repealing the Corporal Punishment Ordinance, but this was being resisted by the semi-autonomous regime in Zanzibar. (The Amnesty reports for 2000 to 2004 inclusive do not appear to mention JCP.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2000
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2001
The 1998 report says that whippings were meted out by the police, even for traffic violations. The 2000 and 2001 reports refer to unofficial floggings by police in Zanzibar. None of these reports mentions the more official judicial canings ordered by the courts.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2002
This says that the Justice Minister was investigating whether to continue the practice of caning offenders, and notes that a high court sentenced a juvenile to six strokes for manslaughter.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2003
Caning was used "occasionally" by the courts in 2003 but its use was declining, according to this. (The 2004 report merely repeats the same information.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2005
This report quotes a case in Arusha where a court sentenced a businessman to 12 strokes of the cane for rape, but claims (though it cites no source) that overall the use of caning continued to decline. (The 2006 report merely repeats the same information.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2007
This USSD report mentions that "Local government officials and courts occasionally used caning as a punishment for both juvenile and adult offenders". It is not clear what they mean by "local government officials". (The report for 2008 adds nothing of substance.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2009
It becomes clear that "Local government officials" means district commissioners. The report quotes a case in which a district commissioner "ordered police to cane 19 school teachers for tardiness and the poor performance of the students on the national exams", and also a four-stroke caning sentence, plus 30 years' jail, on a witchdoctor for raping a student.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2010
The report mentions a number of JCP cases in 2010, including some not previously reported, including a six-stroke caning for a 17-year-old who sodomised a 15-year-old.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2011
A couple of JCP cases in 2011 are mentioned, including 10 strokes for an alleged British citizen; oddly this seems not to have been reported in the UK press.

Amnesty International Report 2005   (Alternative link)
According to this, JCP was abolished on Zanzibar in August 2004, but remained in force on the mainland.


TANZANIA: School CP

Corporal punishment in Tanzanian schools takes the form of caning, maximum four strokes. The Minister for Education stated in May 2006 that "caning of stubborn students in primary and secondary schools is mandatory", according to this press report. However, it is supposed to be given by the head teacher or a person delegated by the head teacher, not by ordinary class teachers, and still less by prefects as happened in this Sep 2004 case.

    In April 2013 it was reported that the Deputy Education Minister was insisting that caning in schools would continue in spite of criticism from "those who call themselves human rights activists".

    These photographs show a senior student adopting a British-style "touch toes" position to be caned on the seat of his trousers in the classroom.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC says that CP is lawful in schools under the National Corporal Punishment Regulations (1979), but the maximum number of cane strokes was reduced from six to four in 2000. Only head teachers are supposed to administer it. Furthermore, in 2011 the government stated that caning in schools was "a legitimate and acceptable form of punishment".

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2006
"Corporal punishment in schools was a problem", says this report, but it does not explain in what way it was a problem. It claims that caning "continued to decline during the year following public outreach efforts by the government". (The USSD reports for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 repeat essentially the same information.)


Other external links for Tanzania/Schools



THAILAND: Military CP

It is not known whether corporal punishment is officially part of the regime in the Royal Thai Armed Forces, but caning is certainly used in practice, at least of the fairly minor kind seen in these video clips and this photograph.



THAILAND: Prison and Reformatory CP

There is some anecdotal evidence that caning is routine in certain juvenile institutions. Legislation, including the Training Arrangement for Certain Groups of Children Act (1936), provides for whipping up to 10 strokes for youngsters in observation and protection centres, correctional schools, vocational training schools, remand homes, rehabilitation centres and youth penitentiaries. The rod to be used is supposed not to exceed 75cm in length and 0.5cm in diameter, which sounds a bit too short and thin to have very much effect.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Thai Correctional System Profile [PDF]
An official paper, from as recently as 1997, stating that caning (max. 20 strokes, under medical supervision) was still on the statute book for male prisoners in Thailand who defy prison regulations, though apparently not used in practice, since the document also says there was no corporal punishment.



THAILAND: School CP

Caning in schools was abolished in 2000 and reintroduced in 2002. These were rules issued by the Ministry of Education, not legislative changes.

    According to this June 2003 news item, CP remained legal if both the student and the parents agreed to it, in lieu of other punishment. It is not clear whether this meant the parent was supposed to agree separately on each individual occasion.

    However, CP was then banned entirely, in theory, in 2005 by further Ministry of Education regulations. It is not known whether this applies to private as well as public schools.

    Anecdotal evidence, such as that quoted in this April 2006 news item, suggests that corporal punishment none the less remains quite common and accepted in practice. According to informed sources, no action is usually taken unless a complaint is made, and many parents support it.

    See also various video evidence, including these video clips (male, serious), these clips (male, jocular), these clips (female) and these clips (mixed boys/girls), showing various sorts of students being caned, mostly in a classroom or other collective situation. A perhaps more serious CP incident at a Catholic boarding school in the provinces attracted a media storm, as in this Aug 2010 news item, which includes video footage of some of the canings involved; the teacher concerned was later prosecuted and fined.

    In October 2008 it was reported that the government was considering reintroducing caning at college and university level, in view of an increase in violence and disorder among students, but nothing more has been heard of this idea.

    Caning in Thai schools normally follows a similar modus operandi to Malaysia, with the student standing up straight, either facing the wall or with arms folded in front to keep them out of the way of the cane, which is administered to the seat of the trousers or skirt. However, occasionally the student is required to bend over in the British or American style, as seen in this video clip. Often the punishment is carried out in front of a class -- or, at least, these are the ones we mostly get to know about, because other students film the scene on their mobile phones; there might be many other (and perhaps more solemn and severe) canings done privately in an office. Occasionally it is applied to the hand rather than the bottom. A ruler or small paddle is sometimes used instead of a cane. There is some evidence that boys are more likely to be caned than girls. However, all these are only generalisations and there are always exceptions.

    An opinion poll in 2011 found that 54% of respondents were in favour of a recommendation by the Students' Council that caning should be reintroduced.


DOCUMENTS:

1972 Ministry of Education rules [HISTORY]
October 2000 news item on the first abolition (see above) of CP summarises the official 1972 rules for caning: maximum six strokes, cane to be no more than 7mm thick (which is rather thin as punishment canes go). The caning was supposed to be applied to "the back of the thighs". This is probably either a mistranslation or a euphemism for the posterior; certainly, available illustrations of actual practice, such as the video clips mentioned above, show the cane being, or having been, applied to the student's buttocks in the great majority of cases.


External links for Thailand/School CP


TONGA: Judicial CP

Judicial CP for men and boys remains in force in this small former British protectorate, a group of islands in the Pacific.

    This Feb 2010 report of a case in Nov 2009 states that two teenagers were appealing against a sentence of six strokes of the "cat" each, in addition to 13 years' imprisonment, for absconding from custody and stealing. It was claimed by the local Law Society that the penalty "had not been used in decades", but this seems to be an exaggeration (see Guardian article linked below).

    In July 2010 it was reported that the flogging sentences had been overturned on appeal as excessive. The court also said that, in light of international conventions, "it might be argued" that whipping was now unconstitutional.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Laws of Tonga: Chapter 18: Criminal Offences   (Alternative link)
See Part IV, Section 31, for regulations, amended as recently as 1987, about the use of whipping on male offenders. This must be carried out by the chief gaoler "in the presence of a magistrate", a provision I cannot remember seeing anywhere else before.
    The court may sentence the offender to either one or two whipping sessions, and there is an unusual maximum of 26 strokes (or 20 strokes for boys under 16). No person who has been whipped shall be again whipped within 14 days. The instrument is "a light rod or cane composed of tamarind or other twigs" for juveniles (under 16) and a cat for offenders of 16 and over, in either case to be administered to the breech.
    Males over 16 may be whipped for living off immoral earnings, theft, housebreaking, and robbery, among other things.
    Articles 130 and 142 allow for the whipping of boys under 16 for various offences, either as well as or instead of imprisonment.

Doing porridge on paradise island
Nov 2002 article in The Guardian (London) says that "public whippings with the cat-o'-nine-tails are only gradually being phased out".



TONGA: School CP

Corporal punishment in Tongan schools is explicitly prohibited by the Education Act 2002, according to GITEACPOC. The legislation also states that "under no circumstances shall staff in any school direct a student to administer corporal punishment on another student".

    In contravention of such rules, this 2011 video clip shows a mass caning of schoolboys by prefects.


TRINIDAD & TOBAGO: Judicial CP

In 1946 it was announced that the colonial government in London had reluctantly agreed to allow Trinidad to reintroduce flogging, after it had been abolished in the late 1930s.

   The current situation is that adult men (but not boys under 18) may be corporally punished by the courts. Trinidad is one of the few countries in the world where judicial birching (called "whipping" in the legislation) is still in use. JCP with the cat-o'-nine tails ("flogging") is also still on the statute book. It is not entirely clear what criteria the courts use to decide which of the two implements to order, but press reports suggest that the birch is available for a wider range of offences than the cat, and that the cat is regarded as the more severe of the two.

   As in the pre-1948 UK, the cat is applied to the upper back, the birch to the bare seat. In either case, the JCP is combined with a sentence of imprisonment and is carried out in the prison. Most of the cases reported in recent years have been either for sexual offences such as rape, or for armed robbery.

   For typical recent cases, see this June 2006 news item, which includes a picture of a man emerging from court after being sentenced to receive 12 strokes of the birch for having sex with an underage girl, and this May 2009 report of a 10-stroke birching sentence for attempted murder.

   In July 2010 the government announced that it would make flogging mandatory for gun-related offences.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Report of the Special Rapporteur
This document states (at paragraph 677) that Clyde Lewis's appeal against his 1989 whipping sentence was turned down in 1995 and he now expected to be birched.

Amnesty International Report 1997  (Alternative link)
At least nine people were sentenced to judicial corporal punishment in 1996.

Amnesty International Report 1998  (Alternative link)
Reports there were at least 7 judicial corporal punishment sentences in 1997, and several flogging or whipping sentences from previous years were thought to have been carried out.

Patterson Matthews v. Trinidad and Tobago
UN Human Rights Committee considers a Trinidad convict's complaints about prison conditions. It mentions that he was sentenced in 1985 to 20 strokes of the birch as well as 20 years in jail. The complainant himself did not raise the question of the birch sentence and it is unclear whether it had been carried out by the time of this committee session in March 1998.

Trinidad & Tobago Makes Independent Move in Judicial Realm  (Alternative link)
From the "Washington Report on the Hemisphere", July 1998. Gives some brief details of recent judicial flogging cases.

Amnesty International Report 1999   (Alternative link)
In 1998 at least three people were sentenced to judicial CP but it was unclear whether they had been whipped at the time of this report. Another prisoner was allegedly birched before his appeal against sentence had been heard.

Open letter to the Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago  (Alternative link)
From Amnesty International (Oct 2000). Welcomes the fact that no floggings had occurred up to that point in 2000, but urges the government to abolish corporal punishment altogether.

US State Department Human Rights Report for 2000
States that 5 persons were sentenced to the birch in the year under review. Also, the penalty for rape was increased from 15 strokes to 20.

Briefing for the Human Rights Committee   (Alternative link)
Another Amnesty International document, from December 2000. This states that the government had repealed the section of the Children Act that had allowed judicial whipping of children. However, another 1999 Bill sought to extend adult flogging with the cat-o-nine-tails to include certain offences of rape. The document also mentions allegations of beatings in a boys' reformatory.

Amnesty International Report 2001   (Alternative link)
No prisoners were subjected to corporal punishment in 2000, but 17 prisoners were whipped in 1999.

US State Department Human Rights Report for 2001
Reports that there were no JCP sentences handed down in 2001.

US State Department Human Rights Report for 2002
According to this, JCP for offenders under 18 was abolished by an Act of 2000. There is no mention of any sentences for adults. (The reports for 2003 to 2009 inclusive say nothing further about JCP, which is surprising in view of this July 2004 appeal hearing, in which earlier birching sentences were upheld, and also these new June 2005 birching sentences.)

Amnesty International Report 2003   (Alternative link)
Mentions the case of Rangee Dolsingh, whose appeal against a sentence of 30 strokes of the birch was rejected in July 2002; Amnesty did not know whether the birching had been carried out. I seem to have no note of this case. Actually, Rangee Dolsingh is the name of a noted lawyer in T&T, indeed a former Deputy Public Prosecutor. Perhaps there are two people with that name. Or could Amnesty have got its facts mixed up?

Amnesty International Report 2004   (Alternative link)
This says that two brothers were ordered to be birched in a Dec 2003 case. It was not known whether any JCP sentences had been carried out during the year under review.

Amnesty International Report 2005   (Alternative link)
JCP remained on the statute book, but the government told Amnesty that no floggings had been carried out since 2002.

Caesar v. Trinidad and Tobago [PDF]
This was a 2005 case in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Winston Caesar was sentenced in 1991 to 20 years' hard labour and 15 strokes of the cat-o'-nine-tails for attempted rape. After losing an appeal, he was finally flogged in February 1998. The punishment is described at para. 49, where the relevant legislation is also set out. Unsurprisingly the Inter-American Court concluded that Trinidad was in breach of the American Convention on Human Rights, but Trinidad had by that time denounced the Convention.



TUVALU: Judicial CP

The Pacific Ocean state of Tuvalu (pop. 12,000), formerly the Ellice Islands, gained independence from Britain in 1978.

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Island Courts Ordinance
This Tuvalu legislation dates from 1978. Island courts have the power to order parents to cane their sons, max. 6 strokes for age under 14 and 10 strokes for a boy aged 14 to 16 inclusive. This is in lieu of imprisonment and/or fine, and may be given for any offence. Parents who fail to carry out the caning order may be fined.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
Local hereditary elders have the right to inflict corporal punishment for infringing customary rules, according to this report, but the power is seldom invoked. (The USSD reports from 1999 to 2003 inclusive just say the same.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2004
There were no reports of corporal punishment being carried out in the year under review, according to this. (The reports for 2005 to 2008 inclusive repeat the same information.)



UGANDA: Judicial CP

Uganda became a British territory in the late 19th century. An English-style legal system, including formal judicial corporal punishment, was superimposed on a pre-existing tradition of local tribal floggings. Both systems were continued after independence from Britain in 1962.

    Benson (1937) reports that there had been 263 JCP cases in Uganda in 1930. This fell to only 57 in 1935 (24 adults and 33 juveniles).

    Allott (1970) noted that magistrates' courts in Uganda were empowered to order up to 12 strokes of corporal punishment (no details provided).

    Following a 2002 court ruling that it was unconstitutional, JCP was abolished by the Magistrates' Courts (Amendment) Act 2006. An example of a magistrates' court case that resulted in a sentence of jail plus caning for robbery occurs in this 2000 news report. In that particular case, it was stipulated that the 12 strokes were to be inflicted at the end of the prison term.

    Several other reports of Ugandan JCP cases can be found in The Archive for 1997, 1998 and 1999.

    There are also the more informal on-the-spot canings carried out on both male and female offenders by local customary village courts ("LC" or local council), as in these May 2004 news items and illustrated in these press photographs. Evidently the 2006 ban did not cover these, since they continue, as in this Sep 2011 news item.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1994
This mentions beatings by vigilante mobs, but does not refer to the official canings ordered by the courts. (Subsequent years' USSD reports are similar.)

Amnesty International Report 1997  (Alternative link)
At least three men were sentenced to caning in 1996 for attempting sexual acts with children.

Amnesty International Report 1998  (Alternative link)
This tells us that courts imposed canings in 1997 - but we knew that already, and it doesn't say how many cases there were.

The Human Rights Reporter 1999
The "Foundation For Human Rights Initiative" complained (para 1.5.1) about sentencing discrepancies between LC ("local council") courts and the more formal higher courts, noting that the High Court handed down sentences of prison plus 12 strokes of the cane where the LC courts in similar cases merely ordered compensation to be paid.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2000
Beatings-up by vigilantes are again mentioned, as are random floggings and torture by various out-of-control military or police units, but there is still no reference to official canings ordered by the courts up to the 2006 ban, though there is no shortage of press reports of these -- see for instance these Jan 2000 news items. (The USSD reports for 2001 to 2009 inclusive add nothing of significance.)


UGANDA: Prison CP

EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

US State Department Human Rights Report 2006
Corporal punishment in Ugandan prisons was abolished under the Prison Bill 2003, according to this.


UGANDA: School CP

Corporal punishment in Ugandan schools has traditionally been commonplace. It was banned by government circular in 2006, but has not explicitly been made illegal under statute.

    The education ministry in Nov 2008 launched a handbook on alternatives to CP, recognising that it was still being used in schools despite the ban. A minister stated that head teachers and teachers who continued to cane students would henceforth be sacked.

    It was reported in July 2011 that 81% of school students had received CP in spite of the government ban.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC says that 1998 government guidelines were opposed to CP in primary schools, and a ministerial circular of 2006 sought to prohibit it completely. Various courts or tribunals have found particular cases of unduly severe school beatings to be illegal, but this has not had the effect of outlawing CP altogether.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1995
Corporal punishment was common in "some" schools in Uganda, according to this. (Earlier years' USSD reports made similar vague observations.) A case is mentioned in which teachers allegedly gave a 9-year-old boy 130 strokes of the cane; they were charged with assault.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
This notes that most schools in Uganda used corporal punishment. The document claims that the government had banned CP for secondary pupils in 1997. This is not mentioned by GITEACPOC (see above). (The USSD reports for 1999 to 2002 inclusive repeat the same information.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2003
This states that the Education Standards Agency threatened to deregister any teacher or headmaster administering corporal punishment. Despite this, schools were still using CP. (The 2004 USSD report adds nothing new. The report for 2005 does not mention CP at all.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2006
The report notes that during 2006 the Ministry of Education banned CP altogether in schools and colleges.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2007
Fewer incidents of CP in schools were reported since the 2006 ban (see previous item), according to this. (The same information is repeated in the 2008 and 2009 reports.)



UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Judicial and Prison CP

The UAE is a federation of seven small Gulf states. Courts regularly order floggings, for women as well as men, particularly but not exclusively for Islamic offences such as adultery and drinking alcohol. The penalty is now applicable only to Muslims.

MAIN ARTICLE: For more details and links to relevant documents, see this separate page.


UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: School CP

Corporal punishment in UAE schools was banned by a ministerial decree in 1998. Teachers are leaving the profession because of student indiscipline, and they want CP to be restored, according to this May 2013 news report, which gives the impression that a form of caning was the preferred mode before the ban.

    A case was reported in March 2003 in which it was agreed with a tribal chief that two sisters (age not stated) would be "spanked" (no further details supplied) in front of the whole school for assaulting a counsellor. Because the Sharia Court brokered the deal with the aggrieved party, it seems this could be regarded as judicial CP and thus evaded the ban on school CP.


UNITED KINGDOM: Army CP

Flogging in the British Army, with a cat-o'-nine-tails, was common well into the 19th century. It was abolished by Parliament in 1881. However, this ban did not include punishment in military prisons, where inmates could still be birched.

    Boy soldiers could be caned until 1956.

    There have also always been, and still are, unofficial punishments of soldiers by their own comrades.

MAIN ARTICLE: For more details, illustrations, and links to relevant documents, see separate page, United Kingdom: Army corporal punishment.


UNITED KINGDOM: Domestic CP

Parental smacking (Brit-speak for lightly hitting small children; nearly but not quite the same thing as "spanking") has been the subject of much controversy in recent years. Various pressure groups -- who maintain that children have "rights" that override parents' rights -- have been seeking to have it outlawed altogether, despite the fact that broad public support for such a move is plainly lacking.

    Successive governments have so far resisted these demands, and the current legal position in England and Wales (Children Act, 2004) is that "reasonable chastisement" is lawful if it does not amount to assault. This has been generally construed to mean that it must leave no marks on the child, and to preclude the use of any implement.

    Sentencing guidelines issued to courts in 2008 were expected to say that parents should not be imprisoned if they did not intend to cause physical harm.

    In practice, social workers can intervene without the law becoming involved, and this makes parents afraid to discipline their children, according to a Jan 2012 interview with David Lammy, a senior Labour MP who was a minister in the previous government; he wants the smacking rules relaxed or at least clarified. He went so far as to suggest that if there had been more spanking there might have been fewer young people rioting in British cities in summer 2011. (There might be, among other things, an ethnic undercurrent going on here: many of his inner-London constituents are black, as is Lammy himself. Black Britons have previously been scathing about informal guidelines that urge spanking parents to stop short of causing "reddening of the skin", a meaningless criterion in their case.)

    The legal situations in Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in detail, but seem in practice to have arrived at roughly the same point.


DOCUMENTS:

Majority of parents admit to smacking children
The Times (Sep 2006) reports on a poll showing that 70% of parents would strongly resist any move to ban corporal punishment in the home. It also revealed that most parents do not understand the current legal situation.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC attempts to explain the complexities of the present legal position.

Case of A. v The United Kingdom
Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, September 1998, holding that a boy's caning by his stepfather constituted "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment", contrary to the Convention.

Application No 25599/94
Uncheck "Judgments" and check "Reports" and enter 25599/94 in the "Application number" box, then press "Search" to get the Human Rights Commission's report on the above case, before it got as far as the Court. Quotes at length from the summing-up of the judge in the domestic trial at which the stepfather was acquitted of assault.

To Smack or Not to Smack?
A legal review, quite lengthy and comprehensive, of the same case.

Children (Physical Punishment) [PDF]  (Alternative link)
Debate in the Scottish Parliament (February 2000) on a proposal to make it illegal for parents to spank their own children.


Other external links for UK/Domestic



UNITED KINGDOM: Judicial and Prison CP [HISTORY]

Corporal punishment by order of the courts was once fairly common in Britain. By the early 20th century its use had been reduced drastically for adult men, but it was still sometimes ordered -- using either the birch or the cat -- for robbery with violence. The birching of boys, especially for petty larceny, was much more common. All JCP was abolished in 1948 (except in Northern Ireland).

MAIN ARTICLE: For full details, with illustrations and links to relevant reports and documents, see separate page, Judicial corporal punishment in Britain.


UNITED KINGDOM: Reformatory CP [HISTORY]

Corporal punishment was used in varying degrees and in different ways in Britain's various sorts of young offenders' institutions. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, "Industrial schools" and "Reformatory schools" and "Training schools" were allowed to birch their inmates until the early 1920s, when under government pressure the cane (or in Scotland, the tawse) became standard.

    In 1933 these all became "Approved Schools", to which the courts could send errant teenagers. Central government laid down rules under which they could cane or tawse both male and female residents. Different rules applied to Remand Homes and Children's Homes.

    CP in all these and similar establishments was ended in the 1980s.

    There were also Borstals, for older and more serious offenders. These were prisons for young men. Contrary to popular myth, there was officially no corporal punishment here except birching in rare cases of extreme violence against an officer.

MAIN ARTICLE: For more details and links to relevant rules, reports and other documents, see separate page, United Kingdom: Corporal punishment in reformatories and youth institutions.


UNITED KINGDOM: Royal Navy CP

Adult seamen in the British navy were flogged with the cat up to the late 19th century, usually on the bare back. Boy sailors (under 18), more recently classified as "junior seamen", were birched up to 1936 and caned on the trousers seat until 1967.

MAIN ARTICLE: For details, with illustrations, documents and links, see this separate page.



UNITED KINGDOM: School CP [HISTORY]

Corporal punishment used to be common in nearly all boys' schools and most mixed-sex schools. In state schools, and also in private schools receiving any public funding, it was abolished by legislation in 1987. In the remaining private schools it was banned in 1999 in England and Wales, and slightly later in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

MAIN ARTICLE: For details of caning, slippering, spanking and tawsing in British schools, together with many links for further information, opinions and legal developments, see this separate page.


UNITED STATES: Domestic CP

The legal situation covering domestic (family/parental) corporal punishment varies from state to state. There is a perception in some quarters that parents are nowadays legally forbidden to spank their children, but generally this is not true: several courts have upheld parents' right to impose moderate and reasonable corporal punishment. Some of these cases are linked below. However, there is also some evidence of excessive zeal in this matter on the part of social workers, some of whom seem to behave as if they are above the law when it comes to deciding whether punishment has crossed the line into abuse.

    A 2007 legislative attempt to outlaw parental spanking in Massachusetts (with video clips) was met with widespread derision, and duly failed.

    Until quite recently, nobody was ever in any doubt that spanking by parents was a good and normal thing, including for older teenagers, many of whom were themselves in favor of it, as exmplified by this Oct 1961 survey report (with cartoon).


DOCUMENTS:

New Research on Spanking Might Need a Time Out
In the USA as elsewhere, there are deep divisions of opinion about parental CP. This Wall Street Journal analysis (Oct 2009) finds that statisticians are sceptical of academic studies purporting to show that spanking has negative long-term consequences. Do the problems cause spanking or does the spanking cause the problems? There are too many unmeasurable variables to isolate, and no proof of any causal correlation. Anyway, most of this debate and research is about mothers smacking their infant toddlers on the spur of the moment, so it tells us nothing at all about spanking as a measured, mutually understood and agreed, decided-upon-in-advance punishment for youngsters in, say, the 5 to 15 age group, which is quite a different subject. See also these external links.

CA court upholds mother's right to spank daughter New!
In this Jan 2014 California case, a woman spanked her 12-year-old with a wooden spoon, causing bruises. Social services wanted to put her on the child-abuse index, but the court held that it was "reasonable corporal punishment", which had been recognised by the Legislature as "a legitimate disciplinary measure".

Court gets behind spanking, to a degree
May 2008 decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court that spanking your child is not necessarily abuse, in a case where a man paddled his 12-year-old son. The court upheld the state Court of Appeals, which had overturned a local court's ruling that the boy and his brother should be forcibly taken away from their parents by local social services bureaucrats.
    This case is particularly interesting because Minnesota is generally considered liberal in social policy terms, and has sometimes been described as a state where parents are not allowed to spank their children.

Court sides with mother in whipping case
According to this June 2008 report (with video clip), the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the battery conviction of a woman who had whipped her 11-year-old son with a belt. Because his bruises were "neither serious nor permanent", the punishment was reasonable, the court held. The court's full ruling in this case, Willis v State, can be read here [PDF].

Corporal punishment not necessarily abuse
News item (Nov 2006) about a case in the North Carolina Court of Appeals. The court held that spanking a child does not constitute abuse as long as it does not cause serious physical injury. This ruling overturns a district court finding against a father whose 13-year-old son had a bruise on his bottom. In other words, a bruise is not an injury.

The Judge and the belt
News report (Aug 2007) of a hearing in Ohio where a judge threw out a charge of excessive punishment against a father whose belting left marks (pictured) on his son's back.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

United States Spanking Laws
A summary for each State of the legal position of parental spanking, provided by the anti-CP "Center for Effective Discipline".

Parents' Rights to Discipline in California
Note by the Pacific Justice Institute on California law covering parental spanking.

May I Spank my Child? Corporal punishment in California
More on the same subject, from a Christian point of view.

Donald R. Cobble Jr v Commissioner of the Department of Social Services
Text of the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision (1999) that strapping one's son on his bottom does not constitute abuse. For more on this case see this September 1999 news item and its follows-up.


Other external links for USA/Domestic



UNITED STATES: Judicial CP updated

Many US States had JCP on their statute books in early times, typically consisting of a public flogging on the upper back at a special whipping post. This 2007 newspaper article purports to describe the last whipping in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1839, though no source is cited.

    In Virginia, one of the last persons to be whipped by court order was a black woman in 1880, according to this report, which notes that the penalty was abolished by the state legislature two years later. Efforts to revive Virginia's "whipping post" in the 1890s were all defeated.

    Another Virginia case, in 1878, attracted particular attention because it involved a white girl being whipped by a black constable. And this 1879 report, also from Virginia, refers to a paddle being used rather than a whip.

    An attempt to reintroduce the whipping post in New York State in 1895 also failed.

    In 1904, no less a figure than the President called for a whipping post in Washington DC for the punishment of men who beat their wives. A judge in New York made similar remarks in 1913. In 1921, people in Chicago (and no doubt elsewhere) were still calling for the flogging of wife-beaters. None of these proposals came to anything.

    It is recorded that public judicial whippings with a rawhide were prevalent in Illinois until at least 1850 because there was no penitentiary in the state. The offender was stripped naked and his hands tied with a rope that was pulled over a cross bar at the top of the whipping post (Illinois Law Quarterly, 6 (1923), p.49).

    The last state to use this kind of punishment was Delaware, which did not formally abolish judicial whipping until 1972, though the last such event took place in 1952: see this illustrated book review. This 1901 news item records an occasion when 15 men were whipped in Newcastle, Delaware, for burglary and larceny. It is not clear whether this was open to public view.

    For more detail on Delaware floggings in the 19th and 20th centuries, see this April 2011 article, which mentions a mass whipping in 1932 which was indeed open to the public and was attended by a crowd of thousands, allegedly.

    Whippings were also still being ordered by courts in Maryland well into the 20th century, as shown in this 1938 picture; in Baltimore these were carried out "privately" -- with an invited audience -- in prison, as reported in this April 1926 case. But in another Maryland town in 1940 a flogging, allegedly with a cat-o'-nine-tails, was carried out in public view, according to this recent comment by local historians.

    In January 2012 a U.S. district judge in Maine said that Congress had expressly outlawed whipping as a federal penalty in 1839. He was rejecting a request from a man of 34 to be flogged instead of doing jail time for being a felon in possession of firearms.

    In January 2013 a lawmaker in Montana was said to be drafting a Bill that would allow convicts to negotiate corporal punishment instead of being sent to jail.

    There have also been many cases where local judges have ordered young offenders to be paddled, whipped or spanked immediately in the court premises, either by a relative or by a court official. There appears to have been no formal legislative provision for this in any state; it has usually been presented as an informal alternative to incarceration, or made a condition of probation. Some examples for which we have a record are:

- 1897 in Kentucky - Six "young toughs" paddled in court; New!
- 1901 in Kansas City - Boys frequently punished in courtroom by parents with "the official whip"; here, the first case of a girl so dealt with;
- 1910 in New York - Mother made to whip 15-year-old;
- 1918 in New York - Four boys spanked by Children's Court;
- 1921 in Missouri - Judge spanks 4 truant schoolboys with shoe;
- 1925 in Pennsylvania - Two boys, 14, get strapped by respective fathers;
- 1931 in Washington State - Four young thieves lashed by probation officer;
- 1936 in Pennsylvania - 17 boy vandals belted by respective parents;
- 1936 in Chicago - Three youths lashed in court with rubber hose by their relatives; this is the only case for which we have a photograph of the punishment being administered;
- 1962 in Indiana - Three delinquent youths, 16 and 17, spanked in open court by officials;
- 1963 in Indiana - Youth, 19, punished by father with razor strop in judge's chambers;
- 1963 in New Jersey - Three teenage boys spanked in juvenile court by fathers; New!
- 1968 in Oklahoma - Boy, 16, takes whipping in jury room to avoid prison term;
- 1969 in Virginia - Girl, 18, spanked in courtroom by mother;
- 1995 in S. Carolina - Judge has youth, 18, whipped on bare seat in his office by grandmother;
- 1996 in Kansas - Judge offers 15-year-old burglar choice of detention or a paddling, and he chooses the latter;
- 1997 in Nevada - Judge orders mother to spank son, 12, in open court;
- 2001 in Texas - Foster parent ordered to paddle 11-year-old in courtroom.

    Of the above, the Chicago (1936), Oklahoma (1968), Virginia (1969) and Texas (2001) cases are the only ones in which the legality or propriety of the punishment is known to have been subsequently called into question. See also this March 2003 article about "the spanking judge of Galveston County" in Texas. (But see June 2008 coverage of another paddling judge in Texas, whose practice of offering an informal CP option was overruled by a higher court.)

    A little different was this 1946 Arkansas case involving three soldiers who agreed to be publicly whipped in the (civilian) courtroom for burglary and larceny, in exchange for having jail terms suspended. The news item conveys the impression that there was nothing very extraordinary about this event. The soldiers' ages are not given.

    There have also been unofficial spankings of juveniles by police, as in this this Ohio case in 2004 and this Chicago case in 2005, and by probation officers, as in this Arkansas case in 2008.

    After the 1994 caning in Singapore of the American youth Michael Fay gained enormous publicity, some US local politicians became enthusiastic about the idea of judicial CP for young offenders. Attempts in 1994-1996 to introduce whipping in one form or another included:

- California: juvenile courts to order up to 10 whacks with a wooden paddle;
- Maryland: lashes with a rattan cane for offenders over 14;
- Mississippi: judges to pass CP sentences for any felony;
- New Hampshire: teenage vandals to be spanked in public on the bare bottom;
- New York State: paddlings in judge's chambers for graffitists aged 13 to 18;
- Tennessee: up to 15 lashes on the courthouse steps for vandals and burglars;
- San Antonio, Texas: municipal judge to order parents to paddle teenage graffiti artists.

    This Feb 1996 article discusses why none of these legislative proposals made it on to the statute book in any state. Opinions remain divided on whether or not such a penalty would contravene the US constitution: see this review of a law journal article.

    Earlier unsuccessful moves to introduce judicial CP for juvenile delinquents were made in Michigan in 1964, where a judge would order the offender to be publicly whipped by his father with a switch or belt, and in Illinois in 1967, where policemen would be given the power to spank teenage wrongdoers on the spot.


DOCUMENTS:

In Defense of Flogging
About a new book (2011) which argues that JCP should be a choice offered to the convicted person in many cases, largely replacing the USA's present very extensive (and expensive) use of imprisonment. See also this book review and this one and this one and these ones and this one (with video clip).

Just and Painful
Review of an earlier (1985) American book which also called for the corporal punishment of criminals as a better option than imprisonment.

Early treatment of child offenders [HISTORY]
An act respecting crimes and punishments (Illinois, 1819). This provided for "children or servants" to be whipped by justices of the peace (max. 10 "stripes") if they assaulted their parents or masters.

House Bill 1324 [HISTORY]
The full text of the 1996 unsuccessful attempt in New Hampshire to introduce public spanking on the bare buttocks as a judicial punishment for vandalism. See also this March 1996 news item.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

The Sensibilities of Our Forefathers: The History of Sodomy Laws in the United States [HISTORY]
Until 1845, sodomy could be punished with up to 500 lashes in Illinois, according to this.

State v. Martin (2006) [PDF]
Court of Appeals ruling in the "Ohio paddling cop" case. See this Nov 2006 news item and these still pictures of one of the spankings in question.

In the Matter of John Lloyd Swarts, III
Kansas Supreme Court case (2001) about the County Attorney who kept a large paddle (inevitably inscribed "Board of Education") in his office for use on delinquent youths in lieu of bringing formal proceedings.

Mississippi House Bill 381 [HISTORY]
A 1997 Bill (which died in committee) to introduce judicial caning as a punishment for burning churches.

An Introduction to the Justice System in Colonial Virginia [HISTORY]
Eighteenth-century Virginia inherited the harshness of the English common law. For stealing a hog, first offenders would receive 25 lashes at the whipping post. Children were whipped too.

House Bill No 2458 [HISTORY]
Text of a failed attempt in the Texas legislature (1995) to call for a report on the effectiveness of judicial caning.

United States v. Barnett [HISTORY]
1964 case in the Supreme Court about racial integration, interesting for its detail about 17th-century judicial whippings in Massachusetts.

Bill Number AB7 [HISTORY]
Full text of the failed 1994 California Bill to introduce judicial paddling for vandals.



UNITED STATES: Prison CP

Corporal punishment for inmates guilty of offences against prison rules was formerly common. Several accounts mention the use of a strap applied to the bare buttocks, though the punishment often seems to have been called "paddling". This 1883 news item describes its use in New York at that time, and see also document linked below. In many parts of the country this kind of prison discipline evidently was either outlawed or fell into disuse early in the 20th century. It was still in use in some southern states much more recently, not being abandoned until 1968 in Arkansas, for instance.

    Benson (1937) records that prison punishment with a strap was then in use in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. This cannot be a complete list because we know that corporal discipline in prison was still enforced in Colorado until 1951 -- see this July 1951 news item.

    For more on the system in Colorado, see these c.1900 pictures and this 1899 news item, which tells us that the strap, described as a "paddle", was two feet long, 3 inches wide and three-quarters of an inch thick. The procedure was known somewhat euphemistically as "spanking".


DOCUMENTS:

Prison Methods in New York State [HISTORY]
Extract from a book describing in detail the use of corporal punishment as prison discipline in the 1880s. See also this 1894 news item about controversy over paddlings in Elmira Reformatory.

Parchman Farm, Mississippi [HISTORY]
Details of "Black Annie", the strap used at this prison farm well into the 20th century.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

State of Arkansas, Board of Corrections: Corporal punishment [PDF]
Regulation abolishing CP. This dates from 1979, but floggings with the strap had ceased in 1968.

Rusk Penitentiary [HISTORY]
History of a prison in Texas which closed in 1917. There is a quotation from the regulations governing use of the leather strap for punishing inmates, including its dimensions.



UNITED STATES: Reformatory CP

Corporal punishment, often with a strap but sometimes with a paddle, used to be commonplace at many US reformatories for young offenders of both sexes. These were often called "training schools" or "industrial schools". Compared with the broadly equivalent institutions in the UK, for example, some US states seem to have had few rules or regulations governing their use of CP.

    In 1890 it was reported that a boys' reformatory in Pennsylvania had introduced spanking with a leather shoe sole as its official means of punishment.

    This 1896 news item reported that the New York State Board of Charities had in 1890 required all CP to cease in such institutions, but that the order was being legally challenged.

    In 1898 it was reported that an institution for boys in Chicago had adopted "spanking with a leather paddle" instead of locking unruly inmates in a dark cell, and that their conduct had improved greatly as a result.

    Spanking was evidently common enough at girls' "industrial schools" around a hundred years ago for different parts of the country to be vying with each other for the most efficient way of implementing it, according to this Feb 1898 news item.

    The New Jersey State Home for Girls in 1910 with its policy of punishing disobedient inmates with a leather strap seems unlikely to have been as unusual as the New York Times appeared to think.

    In the 1930s and 1940s, a national reform organisation called the Osborne Association managed to visit a number of reformatories and found that most of them used CP in some form or other (see documents, below).

    This 1994 news report recalls the application of the "jack", a kind of heavy leather paddle, to the bare posteriors of inmates at a reform school in Wisconsin in the 1940s.

    This illustrated newspaper feature gives a good impression of a "State Training School for Boys" in Tennessee in the 1950s and makes it clear that paddling was a standard punishment.

    The punishment of a 16-year-old boy in a Florida institution with a "fraternity paddle" in 1957 is described in this June 1957 report, from which it is apparent that the staff regarded it as a routine measure.

    Privately-run residential schools that could probably be described as "reformatories" in all but name, often operated on a fundamentalist Christian basis, have in many states been free to operate as they please, and in a few cases still are, especially in the South. In most such places, corporal punishment seems to have been a routine feature. A well-known example was the network of "Christian homes" run by Lester "Better a pink bottom than a black heart" Roloff, including the Bethesda Home for Girls, featured in this March 1982 news item.

    From time to time claims arise about long-past alleged abuses in institutions of this kind, which in at least some states were clearly poorly run and inadequately regulated. These allegations often go well beyond mere excessive corporal punishment, and to that extent do not directly concern us here. This March 2010 news item reports on such a case in Florida, and is accompanied by a 1974 picture of a strap and a paddle.


DOCUMENTS:

Indiana Boys' School, Plainfield, 1970 [HISTORY]
First-person account of bare-bottom strapping, abolished in 1966 but reintroduced in 1969.

Boys' Industrial School, Lancaster, Ohio [HISTORY]
A description of the punishment regime in 1931.

For a photograph of the strap used in this same institution 25 years later, see this Jan 1956 news item.

The Osborne Association [HISTORY]
Detailed reports on the disciplinary system in boys' reformatories between 1938 and 1943. There are now six reformatories covered here.

Reform School Management
This 1877 news item reports on then new rules for the State Reform School at Westborough, Massachusetts. Punishment was to be administered with a leather strap "only upon the hand or the back part of the thighs", the latter phrase being possibly a euphemism.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Shall Sense or Sentiment Prevail in the Treatment of Our Juvenile Offenders? [HISTORY]
A 1912 article in The Child, A monthly journal of child welfare (Chicago). At pp. 47-48 it sets out the detailed rules for discipline at the State School (reformatory) in Minnesota (presumably Red Wing, see following items). A leather paddle, 16 inches long (presumably exclusive of wooden handle) and 3½ in. wide, was to be applied to the buttocks with a maximum of 15 strokes per inmate per day. This was to follow a full hearing by the Superintendent, and only on his written order. The article also notes that, at the Massachusetts state reform school, solitary confinement had recently been replaced by whipping.

The Walls of Red Wing  (Alternative link) [HISTORY]
Long illustrated article about a juvenile detention home in Minnesota, USA. It began in the 1890s as a kindly and liberal place, allegedly. But before long it became as severe and repressive as such institutions usually are. There is a ("possibly embellished") first-person description of a punishment strapping. CP was theoretically abolished in 1947. See also this March 1911 news item and this April 1911 follow-up about allegations of excessive severity; a committee of investigation recommended the abolition of CP, but that plainly did not happen.


Red Wing 1889-1989  (Alternative link) [HISTORY] [PDF]
More on the above - this is Red Wing's official history. See page 15. Boys were punished "on their bare backs and bottoms" and there was a formal procedure, with two witnesses and an entry in a record book. It is described here as "paddling", but this may be misleading -- the article linked in the previous item says that it was given with a strap with holes in it. Running away and sex offenses were the most frequent reasons for receiving CP.

Wisconsin Industrial School for Boys [HISTORY]
History of this institution quotes a rule that no corporal punishment shall be administered except by the Superintendent or by his express instruction.

Juvenile Delinquency [HISTORY]
Scroll down to "The Refuge Movement" for various passing references to CP in this long collection of 19th-century documents. The New York House of Refuge was expressly authorized to apply "stripes" in cases of serious disobedience, whereas at the equivalent institution in Boston, CP was forbidden.

Tennessee: Standards for residential child caring agencies (1999) [PDF]
Provides that corporal punishment is permitted in youth homes, but only with consent of parent or guardian.



UNITED STATES: School CP

Many people, even within the USA, think corporal punishment (paddling or spanking) has long disappeared from American public schools. This is not so.

    Corporal punishment remains lawful in US schools, following a Supreme Court decision in 1977, except where it has been banned at district or state level. Over half the states have banned it. Paddling continues to be deployed to a greater or lesser extent in several southern states.

MAIN ARTICLE: For a full illustrated overview, with many internal and external links to relevant data and documents, see this separate page.



US VIRGIN ISLANDS: School CP updated

School corporal punishment is lawful, and is used. A move by the superintendent covering the area of the capital (St Thomas) to ban it by diktat is opposed by teachers, who demonstrated in protest against any ban (among other things) in April 2010. The teachers point out that the law explicitly gives them the same rights as parents where students' conduct and behaviour is concerned, a state of affairs confirmed by GITEACPOCEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window.
    In Feb 2014 a Senate Bill was put forward proposing the abolition of school CP. There is no word yet on the outcome.



VIETNAM

Old photographs like these from the French colonial period about 100 years ago (when the country was called French Indo-China) show that local courts used to administer judicial floggings, administered to the buttocks with the offender lying flat on the ground. It is not known when this practice ceased.

    Perhaps surprisingly for what is still notionally a Communist country, it has become evident that formal CP is used in schools in the present day -- see these video clips (boys), these ones (girls), and these ones (mixed boys and girls). Vietnam appears on this evidence to be like South Korea but unlike most countries, in that girls are almost as likely to be caned at school as boys. Despite the French colonial history, some of these punishments are more or less British-style canings delivered to the seat. In other cases a sort of paddle or metre rule is used. In some classrooms, milder CP may be given with a ruler on the hands.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

GITEACPOC reports that there is "near-universal social acceptance" of corporal punishment for children in Vietnam. It assumes that school CP is unlawful because a 2005 law states that teachers must not disrespect the honour or dignity of students or hurt or abuse them physically, but whether CP really contravenes that provision is presumably a matter for the Vietnamese courts rather than for GITEACPOC. If it does, the law is plainly not being enforced.



YEMEN: Judicial CP

Yemen is next door to Saudi Arabia. Like its larger neighbour, it is governed by Islamic (Shari'a) law, though of a slightly less strict kind in some respects. Flogging was said until recently to be a commonplace judicial penalty. This was sometimes, or possibly always, carried out in public, often it seems with little or no media publicity. There had been some suggestions (see recent USSD reports linked below) that JCP has been reduced or possibly even stopped altogether, but GITEACPOC says that it remains on the statute book. A video clip of what appears to be an official flogging recently (2011) came to hand.

    In May 1997 it was reported by Amnesty that two local journalists had been sentenced to 80 lashes each for libel. The report adds that flogging, previously limited to the former Yemen Arab Republic (YAR), became applicable to the whole of unified Yemen following the enactment of a new Penal Code in 1994.

    This Nov 1998 news item reported on an 80-stroke public flogging for selling and drinking alcohol.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Yemen: Human rights concerns following recent armed conflict (New URL)
Amnesty International document from 1994, stating that 865 people were judicially flogged in the capital of Yemen in 1993.

Amnesty International Report 1997  (Alternative link)
Reports that there were numerous floggings in 1996, often with no opportunity for appeal.

March 1997: The State Of Human Rights in Yemen  (Alternative link)
Another Amnesty International report. Flogging is a daily occurrence at summary trials.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1998
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2000
Shari'a law permits flogging for minor crimes, e.g. 80 lashes for drinking alcohol. Also mentions that journalists have been flogged for "libel". (The 2001 report adds nothing new. JCP is not mentioned in the 2002 report.)

Amnesty International Report 1999  (Alternative link)
Mentions that judicial floggings were widely imposed in 1998, and usually carried out immediately after sentence.

Amnesty International Report 2001  (Alternative link)
Flogging sentences continued in 2000. Mostly these were for sex, drink and slander.

Committee Against Torture continues review of report from Yemen
A UN press release from November 2003 stating that the government was considering ways of reducing the number of flogging cases.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2003
This claims that there were no reported floggings during the year under review. (Reports for subsequent years, up to and including 2007, say the same.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2008
Notes that floggings occurred during the year in Yemen for alcohol consumption and sexual offences. (The 2009 and 2010 USSD reports add no new information.)



YEMEN: School CP

Corporal punishment is prohibited in schools by a Ministerial decree of 2001. It is not clear whether this applies to private as well as public schools. What happens in reality is unknown, but here is a video clip showing a mass punishment of secondary boys that included some caning.



ZAMBIA: Judicial, prison and reformatory CP

Caning sentences for juveniles were routine in the 1960s (when the country was called "Northern Rhodesia"), for Africans as in these May 1960 court cases but sometimes also for "Europeans" (i.e. white boys), as in this June 1960 case. Magistrates were still ordering canings for teenage boy offenders in August 1996.

    Benson (1937) says that in 1935 there were 256 canings ordered by the courts in Northern Rhodesia, 229 of which were for juveniles. In addition, 210 adults were caned for internal prison offences.

    A November 2003 news report said that Parliament had repealed earlier JCP provisions, following a Supreme Court judgment in 1999 holding all corporal punishment to be unconstitutional. However, GITEACPOC says that JCP is still on Zambia's statute book for juveniles, though presumably no longer invoked.


DOCUMENTS:

Zambia: Criminal Law and the Penal Code [HISTORY]
Extracts from a description of the Zambian judicial system as it was in the 1970s.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2000
US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2001
The Zambian High Court outlawed corporal punishment in 1999, and in 2000 made efforts with magistrates and prison officials to see that the ban was enforced. The 2001 report adds that some chiefs in Northern Province continued to order CP in local courts, in defiance of the ban. (The 2002 report adds nothing new.)

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2003
This report says that a village headman and his two messengers were sentenced to a year in prison for whipping a resident accused of theft. The judge ruled that chiefs and village headmen were not permitted to inflict corporal punishment on their subjects.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2004
Notes further cases in which traditional rulers continued to administer illegal JCP.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2005
Unlike in previous years (see above), there were no reports of traditional rulers using corporal punishment.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 2006
This report notes that Chief Kazembe of Luapula Province whipped five women and a man who had "disrespected his throne" by singing political campaign songs.

Govt Advised To Check Powers of Traditional Courts  (Alternative link)
The Legal Resources Foundation reported in September 2001 that village "kangaroo courts" were handing out sentences of corporal punishment despite its having been made illegal.

Laws of the Republic of Zambia, 1995 edition, Volume 4 [PDF] [HISTORY]
At page 19, Chapter 29 (Local Courts Act), para 43 gave local courts the power to cane boys under 21 convicted of any offence, up to 12 strokes, in lieu of imprisoning them.
    At page 36, the Local Courts Rules clarified at para 4(iii) that a lesser ("Grade B") local court may order only six strokes of the cane. Para 15 (page 39) stipulated that the caning should preferably be carried out in the presence of a medical officer, and at any rate not in public.
    Also on page 39, para 17 sets out in detail the provisions for the modus operandi of the caning procedure. These are more or less identical to those set out in the Prisons Rules (see volume 7 below), except that instead of the "small square of calico" to be dipped in water and wrung out and tied over the target area, a "piece of thin cotton cloth" soaked in water and wrung out shall be "kept spread" over the boy's otherwise bare buttocks during his caning. The rattan used was to be 92 cm long and 1 cm thick for a juvenile (under 19), and 1.2 m long and 12.5 mm thick for a "juvenile adult" (over 19 but under 21).
    At pages 73/74 is set out the warrant that had to be filled in when a boy was sentenced to JCP, from which it appears that if the offender was over 18 he was to be taken to a specified prison to be caned there, but if under 18 he was dealt with in the local lock-up.

Laws of the Republic of Zambia, 1995 edition, Volume 5 [PDF] [HISTORY]
At page 115/6, Chapter 53 (Juveniles Act), para 73 empowered any court to sentence a juvenile (defined at page 88 as being under the age of 19) to be caned.
    At page 138, the Approved School Rules, para 12(3) laid down rules more or less identical to the UK equivalent, viz. that a boy under 15 could be caned on the hands, and boys of any age could be caned on the posterior over ordinary cloth trousers, max. six strokes under age 15 and 8 strokes over that age, but with the proviso that 12 strokes could be given with the special approval of the Commissioner. The caning had to be inflicted by the Principal, and not in the presence of other boys.
    At page 159, the Reformatory Schools Rules, para 53 empowered a visiting justice or a senior officer of the Zambia Prison Service to award up to ten strokes of whipping with a light cane for serious offences committed within the reformatory, but the award had to be confirmed by the Minister (para 58) in the case of a caning of more than five strokes. The cane had to be not more than 835 mm long and 9.38 mm thick. The medical officer was required to be present and to satisfy himself that the inmate was fit to undergo the punishment, the details of which had to be entered in the "caning book".

Laws of the Republic of Zambia, 1995 edition, Volume 7 [PDF] [HISTORY]
At page 33, Chapter 87 (Penal Code), para 27 laid down that a court might sentence a male under 19 to up to 12 strokes of the cane, and a person aged 19 or over to 24 strokes. Those aged under 21 might be caned for any offence for which the penalty would otherwise be 3 months' imprisonment or more; adult men could be caned for various specific offences including rape, burglary, inflicting grievous harm, and robbery. A medical officer was to be present whenever practicable, and had to be present for any caning of more than 12 strokes; the M.O. was empowered to stop the caning if he considered that the convicted person was not in a fit state to undergo the remainder of the punishment. Caning sentences were not to be carried out in instalments.
    At page 297, Chapter 88 (Criminal Procedure Code), para 330 stipulated that a sentence of CP should not be carried out until the time limit for appealing had expired, except in the case of offenders aged under 19, who could be caned forthwith, which I take to mean that any appeal had to be entered immediately the court sentence was announced. This section also provided that the parent or guardian of the under-19-year-old was entitled to be present at his caning, "if he can be found and resides within a reasonable distance".
    At page 677, Chapter 97 (Prisons Act), para 33 empowered the courts to sentence a prison officer who mutinied to up to 12 strokes of the cane. And at page 700 ff., para 94 and paras 98 to 105 laid down the rules for the caning of prisoners found guilty of major offences within the prison such as mutiny or assaulting a prison officer. Only a male prisoner under the age of 45 might be so punished, the maximum number of strokes being 12 if he was over 16, and six for a boy under that age.
    At page 760 ff, Prisons Rules, paras 172 to 175 gave more detailed instructions for the carrying into effect of caning sentences. The cane was to be of rattan, 3 ft long and 3/8 inch thick for boys under 19, and 4ft long and half an inch thick in the case of offenders over that age. A small square of calico was to be dipped in water, wrung out and tied over the prisoner's buttocks. The strokes were to be administered upon the buttocks from one side, and on no account on the back; the small of the back, above the buttocks, was to be protected with a blanket. No other prisoners were allowed to be present during the caning.



ZIMBABWE: Judicial CP

Judicial caning used to be commonplace in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia, before that Southern Rhodesia). It is now available to the courts only for juveniles, which means boys under 18 (for a wide range of offences), and they continue to make use of this power. It seems to be up to the court who is to administer the punishment: in this report of a March 2006 court case it is specified that the caning was to be delivered by "an experienced designated member of the police force", but in this May 2006 case the young offender was to be taken to the Harare Central Prison to receive his punishment, and in this March 2009 case two boys were ordered to receive "three strokes each to be administered in private by a designated prison officer in Masvingo".

    In a case reported in Feb 2013, a 15-year-old boy was ordered three strokes to be administered, strangely, "by health personnel at Harare Central Prison".

    Most recent reported canings have been for sexual offences, as in this case and this one and these two and this one. Then again, perhaps there were many more instances of JCP that were not reported, and these ones got into the press only because of the shocking nature of the offences committed. No statistics as to the incidence of such punishments have come to hand.

    In this Feb 2012 report, an offender ordered to receive six strokes for taking part in a gang robbery is described as being aged 18, whereas the JCP provisions say "under 18". It might be that he was only "about" 18 but actually just under that age, or perhaps he had turned 18 by the time of the court case but was 17 when the offence was committed. Unlike other juvenile cases, however, the newspaper gave the offender's name.

    Another caning involving an offender reported as being aged 18 took place in May 2013, this time for a sexual offence.


DOCUMENTS:

Court rules against Zimbabwe flogging
December 1987 press item reporting that the Supreme Court had outlawed the flogging of adults, but punishment of males under 18 with a light cane was still permissible.

Aspects of Punishment [HISTORY]
Part of a talk to a magistrates' seminar in Rhodesia (as it was then) in 1964. What offences should they impose caning for? Should there be a minimum or maximum number of strokes? Is it right to order a second caning for a repeat offender? The speaker presents views of prison officers and others.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Anti-gay rhetoric escalates in Zimbabwe
According to this 1996 document by an international gay rights organisation, one member of parliament called for caning and flogging to be introduced as a punishment for both male and female homosexuality.

US State Department Human Rights Practices Report 1999
This says that in 1992 the government introduced new legislation to allow the judicial corporal punishment of minors after the Supreme Court had ruled against caning sentences. (The report for 2000 adds nothing fresh. CP is not mentioned in these reports from 2001 onwards.)

S v Juvenile: Constitutionality of sentences of corporal punishment imposed upon juveniles
Summary of a 1989 case in which the majority of the court held that judicial caning was "brutal and cruel" and hence unconstitutional. Subsequently, the government changed the law to make juvenile JCP permissible again. (See next item.)

The Constitution of Zimbabwe [DOC]
Subsection 15(3) inserted by s.5 of Act 30 of 1990 stipulates that moderate corporal punishment inflicted on a male person under 18 by order of a court shall not be held to constitute inhuman or degrading punishment.



ZIMBABWE: School CP

Contrary to what is stated on several other websites, school CP has not been abolished in Zimbabwe. Hearsay evidence suggests that caning, usually delivered to the seat of a boy's trousers, is quite common in some schools. In all likelihood, they have inherited a British schoolboy CP tradition from before the country became independent (when it was called Rhodesia or, for a period, Southern Rhodesia).

    There are four schools in Zimbabwe which say on their websites that they use CP.

    See also this video clip showing boys being caned.


EXTERNAL LINKS: (these will open in a new window)

Punishment for Misdemeanours in Zimbabwean Schools: Recommendations of Sixth Formers
Abstract of a study (1995) which found, among other things, that caning was equally acceptable for boys in "Group A" (formerly whites-only) and "Group B" (formerly black) schools.

GITEACPOC states that CP is lawful in schools in Zimbabwe, but only for boys. Under a 1993 circular, it should be given on the buttocks with a light cane.

Child abuse by teachers in Zimbabwe
Yet another "study" that puts caning on a par with physical and sexual abuse. Alleges that some girls have been caned even though CP is legal only for boys.

Education, Education, Education
A British teacher arriving at a Zimbabwe state school was "horrified" to discover CP being used, but within a couple of months she discovered how well caning works on boys.


Other external links for Zimbabwe/Schools



References:
-- Allott's Judicial and Legal Systems in Africa, 2nd edition, Butterworth, London, 1970
-- Benson, Sir George, Flogging: The law and practice in England, Howard League for Penal Reform, London, 1937 (in particular Appendix I, "The law and practice of other countries").
-- Cadogan Report (Report of the Departmental Committee on Corporal Punishment), London, 1938.
-- Keefe, Eugene K., Countries of the World, Bureau Development Inc., 1991.
-- Kalet Smith, Anna, Juvenile Court laws in foreign countries, Children's Bureau, Social Security Administration, US Federal Security Agency, Washington DC, 1949.

Countries A-H are here
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