This week: the future of crime and punishment, we discuss the high cost and low returns of punishing white collar crimes with special guest Clinton Free.

Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Disruption Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

Our guest this week

Professor Clinton Free

The stories this week

07:35 – Rethinking white collar crime and punishment

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook report very strong results

Or previous discussion of small as the new big and size matters in big corporations on The Future, This Week

Deepfake geography

UCL ranks deepfakes as most serious AI crime threat

Welcome to Chechnya HBO documentary

Welcome to Chechnya – making this documentary film

Forget prisons (again?), the future of punishment will be virtual

Rethinking prisons on our In Conversation series

Our discussion of virtual prisons and economic incentives on The Future, This Week

Our discussion of rethinking prisons and on The Future, This Week

There’s never been a better time to be a white collar criminal

How white collar criminals sleep easy at night

Paul Andon and Clinton Free’s report on coping with fraud offending over time

Paul Andon and Clinton Free’s report from interviews with people who committed serious fraud

The Sure Thing podcast by the Australian Financial Review

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Dr Sandra Peter is the Director of Sydney Executive Plus at the University of Sydney Business School. Her research and practice focuses on engaging with the future in productive ways, and the impact of emerging technologies on business and society.

Kai Riemer is Professor of Information Technology and Organisation, and Director of Sydney Executive Plus at the University of Sydney Business School. Kai's research interest is in Disruptive Technologies, Enterprise Social Media, Virtual Work, Collaborative Technologies and the Philosophy of Technology.

Clinton Free is a Professor and Academic Director, Executive Education at the University of Sydney Business School. He is the Program Director for the Global Executive MBA.


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Sandra So what should we talk about today?

Kai Well, one big story is about big tech. I picked one from the New Zealand Herald. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook all released their quarterly results. And they all exceed expectations.

Sandra And we've discussed before how these companies, and tech companies in general, are now the biggest companies by market cap in the world displacing what used to be a top 10 that had banking and resources, energy companies in it, fully with tech companies. And we've actually done a whole episode discussing how small is the new big.

Kai Yeah, because these companies are big in market cap. They're big in their revenue, but they're not big in terms of employee size. So in traditional size measures, they're actually quite small companies. But this news tells us that big tech is getting even bigger. Even companies like Google who took a temporary hit during the pandemic, when companies had to scale back their advertising revenue, have made up for this setback and are now exceeding expectations. So we can really say that the companies who operate in the digital space are beneficiaries of the pandemic and the move to digital work and online shopping, and activity in the online space more general.

Sandra And we'll include a link in the shownotes to a previous episode we did on 'size matters', where we did discuss quite at length that interestingly now because these big companies are actually small companies, a lot of our traditional theories about big companies being slow and sluggish and not innovative and being prone to being disrupted by small startups no longer hold.

Kai Because these companies are still a source of a lot of innovation in the tech space.

Sandra There was another interesting story I wanted to briefly bring up around deep fake satellite imagery. And geographers are getting involved in the deep fake debate.

Kai Deep fakes, not for faces? Because usually deep fake refers to face replacement. So to digitally overlay someone else's face on video content on what you know other people do in video. So how do you do this in geography?

Sandra It's now a field, deep fake geography. And the article brings up some interesting research out of the University of Washington. But the same technologies employed to generate fake faces, or the deep fake Tom Cruise we recently discussed is also used to generate satellite imagery. And there's a huge potential for this to be used in hoaxes about wildfires or floods, or even to discredit stories about actual satellite imagery. We know satellite imagery is used for everything from establishing economic indicators to surveying areas...

Kai But also to gather military intelligence. So what you're telling me is that this is used to change the face of landscapes now?

Sandra Pretty much. So fake imagery that shows for instance, a bridge just a few metres further than it actually is or shows some cities or bases where there are no such things, or roads in a different condition than they actually are.

Kai Let's hope that Google's GPS doesn't take up that data. You don't want to miss that bridge.

Sandra And there was a report out of the University College London that ranked deep fakes as the most serious AI crime, with fake audio and fake video content being ranked by experts as the riskiest. But there are obviously other domains such as deep fake geography that are also on that radar. So we'll include all of those links in the shownotes.

Kai Oh, and I have to bring up a story here that we missed during our break last year. And I want to give a shoutout to our colleague, Mike Seymour, who just this morning on a Zoom call made me aware of this story, which also has to do with crime, and it got some coverage last year, like in the New York Times. It's the use of deep fake technology to actually protect the victims of crime or even witnesses in video content. And it concerns a documentary. 'Welcome to Chechnya', which portrays the persecution of LGBTQI+ people in Chechnya, victims of violent crimes, to have them speak on camera without having to other them by putting them behind the black wall or blurring their faces. They were filmed with their full expressive facial features, but then their faces were replaced with deep fake technology afterwards with the faces of actors preserving their full expressive facial range, their emotions that they showed on camera.

Sandra And we'll put the links in the shownotes, both to the documentary and the making of the documentary, documentary. And this really shows you in quite a bit of detail how this was done. So a good glimpse into the use of technology in protecting victims of crime, before we've discussed deep fakes and the doing of crimes. And there's always one other story that comes with these two stories, which is the use of tech in punishing crime. And as always, this year, again, we've had those stories about virtual prisons. And we've been doing this podcast for a few years now, and every single year, usually around this time of the year, there's a story that says, you know, forget prisons, the future is technology and virtual prisons, whether that's electronic monitoring, tags, tracking GPS, or the use of augmented reality virtual reality headsets to incarcerate people in their homes, rather than in an actual prison.

Kai And VR headsets would be used to sensory deprive prisoners, to basically simulate solitary confinement. And maybe that's the reason why this story comes back every year and never catches on, because it's a VR-related story. That's apparently what VR does, because it's always almost there.

Sandra But this really got us thinking that every year when we talk about crime and punishment, it seems to be technology that is the saviour, and every year the future of crime and punishment is a technology story. So we thought we should actually get some help and see if there's anything else other than technology in the future of crime and punishment.

Kai And there'd be no better person to talk about the big picture in this space than our friend and colleague Clinton Free.

Sandra Clinton, welcome to the podcast.

Clinton Thanks for having me.

Sandra Clinton is a Professor, and the Director of Executive Education here at The University of Sydney Business School. And his research area is actually fraud management, accounting, corporate governance, and he is looking at white collar crime risk management fraud within organisations. So we thought, why don't we unpack the future of crime and punishment with Clinton?

Kai Clinton, shall we do this?

Clinton Sounds good.

Sandra Let's do this.

Kai Let's do it.

Intro From The University of Sydney Business School. This is Sydney Business Insights, an initiative that explores the future of business. And you're listening to The Future, This Week where Sandra, Peter and Kai Riemer sit down every week to rethink and unlearn trends and technology in business. They discuss the news of the week, question the obvious, and explore the weird and the wonderful.

Sandra The future of crime and punishment, the idea was to talk to someone who has spent a lot of time in prisons. So Clinton, welcome to the podcast.

Clinton Thank you very much.

Kai What have you done in prisons, Clinton?

Clinton I'm not sure what it says about me, but whatever it is, I'm sure it's not very good. But I've certainly been interested in ideas around white collar crime for some time now. And over the last decade or so I've spent a lot of time interviewing people who've received custodial sentences, primarily in prison in the United States and Australia, thinking about a broad range of issues, about the way people rationalise crime, about co-offending, but also this bigger theme of thinking about crime and punishment.

Kai So tech really is only part of this story. There is new forms of crime, cybercrime, which is not what we're talking about today. But even in the detection and persecution and punishment of crime, technology is only a small part. There's algorithms that are being used now to do pattern detection, much like in other fields. We can use artificial intelligence, machine learning, to find deviating patterns that might point to say, employees committing white collar crime, that's certainly an area of interest. But that's not what we're going to focus on today. We really want to talk about the big picture, and the future of how we deal with certain kinds of crime and punishing them, and the costs to society. And so Clinton, we're really happy to have you here, because that's your area of expertise.

Clinton Thanks Kai. And I think this is certainly a conversation that we as a society need to have. And I think there's lots of questions we should be asking about the utility of lengthy custodial sentences for offenders, a range of offenders, but categories that certainly include white collar offenders.

Kai And we hear a lot about the term white collar crime, how would you define that?

Clinton It's a term which is frequently used but infrequently defined. So there's multiple ways to come at this. Some people have looked at the status of the offender. So these, and hence the expression white collar, these tend to be professionals who committed, but I think more generally now it seems to be a catchall for a series of crimes, which tend to be things like fraud, tax evasion, crimes which don't have a physical violent dimension to them.

Sandra And this is the type of crime that you've been looking at for quite a while now. What have you found?

Clinton The research I've done has been looking at a few different dimensions, the way people rationalise crime, the stories that they tell when asked to give an account for it. We've also looked at ideas around co-offending. But the work I've been thinking about a lot lately is this broader general theme of punishment, and the appropriateness of prison as a punishment for a range of different criminal categories, but white collar offenders in particular is my area of interest.

Sandra And that's the reason why we wanted to talk to you today, because quite often we see technology as the only solution to how we think about punishment, and especially to how we think about the future of punishment, we tend not to think of any other dimension, especially when looking at the future.

Clinton I think technology is only a small part of a broader societal conversation. So if we think about, what are the primary objectives of custodial sentences? The three that people normally talk about are punishment, deterrence, specific to the individual and general to the wider population, and then protection of society. So protecting society against the risk of further crime. Now, there's also rehabilitation and denunciation, but we know that most offenders don't feel in any way rehabilitated by their interactions in prison. And I think if you go through those three objectives, it starts to raise questions about the appropriateness of long sentences. So on the punishment side, prison is one alternative that judges have at their disposal, and it's a really important one, we know that prison is a real bedrock of the criminal justice system. But the reality is that judges have a lot of alternatives at their discretion. They can make confiscation orders, they can make restitution orders, they can disqualify professionals from working in industries, they can have corrections orders, what you talked about earlier, electronic monitoring, I think is a really important potential part of the solution here, community service work, there's a range of different alternatives there, of which prison is only one.

Kai So it seems to me Clinton, that for especially white collar crime, professionals in say, tax and investment banking, in those industries, punishment comes in different forms, right? Because stripping them of their rights to participate in the industry can be a very powerful punishment, besides the prison sentence. So how do we think about weighing up those measures?

Clinton I think it's important to note that there's a huge range of punishments that accrue on someone who receives a custodial sentence. So there is that liberty deprivation of being in prison. But I think for a lot of offenders, this is only a small part of their overall punishments, and financial ruin, shame, ostracism, the falling apart of relationships and families, and very limited prospects of ever finding meaningful employment, are all punishments that come from a conviction for lots of crimes. And as a society, our current position really is it feels to me that we're punishing people over a very extended period, which extends long beyond any prison sentence.

Sandra Can you maybe give us a couple of examples, because whenever I hear white collar crime, I always think, like, Bernie Madoff, or the Enron guys, like really millions, billions of dollars in fraud and lives ruined, and so on. But that's not always the case.

Clinton Yeah, the majority of frauds are frauds against people's employers or social security, and your average fraud offender bears very little resemblance to Bernie Madoff as a start. And the point around conversations with these people that I've really taken away is, on the other side of a prison sentence, there's a great difficulty of re-establishing lives. So it's often the case that important relationships have broken down during a prison sentence. And finding work with a record, and a visible public record, is extremely challenging for a lot of people. So people end up exiting the prison system, find it very hard to gain meaningful employment. And that's a really hard position for people to re-enter productive life.

Kai So society effectively serves a life sentence when it comes to taking away the identity of many of these offenders, even though the actual value of the crime might be relatively low. And they have served their prison sentence, they can never go back to a life that resembled what they had before.

Clinton I think that's right Kai, and it's understandable. A lot of people don't want to take a chance with someone, and I think we can completely understand that. But we shouldn't ignore the reality for a lot of offenders, that it is difficult to pick up their lives on the other side of a prison sentence. Now, if you're in the fortunate position of having a strong network, a strong family, who can open up opportunities for you, yeah we can find examples of people who have been able to get on to a path again. But I think the majority of people coming on the other side of a prison sentence, the punishment should be thought of more broadly than just a prison term, it should be thought of in terms of the sort of depravations that come from not being able to find meaningful work.

Sandra And you actually tell one of these stories in your podcast, which has been phenomenally successful here in Australia. Do you wanna tell us a bit about that?

Clinton Yeah, it was great thing to be involved in the podcast is called The Sure Thing. And it's produced in collaboration with Angus Grigg, who's a senior investigative journalist at the AFR. And that podcast really tells the story of two young men who engaged in what at the time was the biggest ever insider trading case in Australian history, and they're both in their early 20s. It's a bizarre and fantastic story in, in many senses, there's deceit and deception, even between the two of them. In a short amount of time, a young man called Lukas Kamay benefits from privileged information from Australian Bureau of Statistics about important indicators and trades on the Australian currency and makes almost a million dollars in about eight months. And at the same time, the person who is giving them the information, Christopher Hill who's working at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, he believes they're trading in much more shorter, or smaller, amounts. And when he's finally caught, can't believe that the figure's escalated to the millions, which Lukas Kamay ends up getting charged with.

Kai Lukas Kamay made a lot of money on the side without ever telling him right?

Clinton That's exactly right. And they both got fairly significant sentences, Lukas got a sentence for over seven years, which is right at the very top end of what we would expect in an insider trading case. And Christopher got three years and three months. They're good examples, it's a good platform to have this conversation, because Christopher, who was in his early 20s when this happened, has come out on the other side, and had a very difficult time finding employment, you know, applied for dozens and dozens of jobs. And when it was disclosed that he had this record, typically, the process would end there, whether he raised it or he didn't, and it subsequently came to light.

Kai And I found you were telling this story really well. And the interesting bit is that you did a seventh episode to your six part series to tell what happened after. That Chris, because of the podcast, he was incredibly lucky to find employment, find someone who gave him the chance to go back into the industry, knowing that he was fully remorseful and didn't present a risk to that company. But as you said, it's also a good case to discuss whether a long prison sentence in these cases is the right measure, given that for most people, a conviction would be a career ending move in any case, and they would lose so much without the prison sentence.

Clinton Yeah, I think that's right, Kai. And if you think about the full suite of punishment for that conviction, it certainly extends well beyond a prison term for Christopher and, and Lukas. And I think there's a broader question about what is the appropriate punishment for young men like this, and whether we want to have a configuration of prison and other smarter forms of punishment that would put less of a drain on the public purse? And also, perhaps open up more opportunities for successful reintegration?

Sandra Let me pick up on two things there. The first is the normal reaction that people would have, are we just being soft on criminals? Because it's not a violent crime, we are being soft on people who are highly educated. And second is what are the actual costs involved in keeping someone in prison?

Clinton So answering the second part first, the Productivity Commission did a study a couple of years ago, where it concluded that it costs just to shade over $300 a day to hold someone in prison. And if you think about that, with Lukas's sentence of over seven years, a bit over seven years, the full cost to society of keeping Lukas in prison would be not far of a million dollars. And I think it's very hard to see return on investment for society for that sort of spend. The question about, is my argument, effectively, suggesting that we go soft on white collar crime and hard on other forms of crime? I think is a complex one, and I have sympathy with the question as well. But if we look at the context of the crime, what we're trying to achieve in terms of protecting society from further reoccurrence, the notion of deterrence, and what's appropriate punishment, I find it hard not to come out on the side of, we can be smarter rather than harder in our sentencing, and a mix of perhaps some custodial sentence, and then other forms of punishment is likely to yield better outcomes for society and perhaps the future trajectory of the offender as well.

Kai So a really important part of this question is whether there is an actual identifiable victim of the crime, right? Because in fraud cases that deprive people of their life earnings, where you have real hardship of victims, it's fully understandable to me that stakeholders involved would want justice being served by having material punishment with a prison sentence. But in Lukas's and especially Chris's case, in your podcast, there is no real victim, it was financial transactions from which they benefited and it'd be very hard to know who to actually return that money to, right?

Clinton In fact, I think there was an attempt to try and ascertain who the money might go to. They recouped a fair amount of it, but they were unable to identify a victim. I think there's two parts to that, one is, from a rationalising the act point of view, the difficulty in identifying a victim makes it easier to commit a crime. So we know rationalisation, moral justification is easier when there's not a tangible victim there. And then on a punishment point of view, I think the absence of a very obvious victim probably makes the public outcry a little less than if there is a discernible, identifiable, victim at play.

Sandra So it's interesting to me that we go to the cost argument, because I think when we looked at the technology stories in previous years, and keeping people in their homes, but tracking them via GPS, or using VR headsets, that was a cost argument as well. But when we unpacked those sorts of stories, we ended up actually in an economic incentives argument, where we realised that the underlying business models, and I'm talking here broadly about places like the US where you've got 7% of the population incarcerated at any time, the underlying business model is mostly private companies that manage prisons, and that use this prison population to carry out work for virtually no pay for often large corporations, IBM or Microsoft or AT&T. So there are no economic incentives to change this. And we know in Australia as well, prison populations have been on the rise. So if it's better for society, both from a cost perspective, but also from a rehabilitating people perspective and benefits to society, we after all educated these people, we put them through universities, we trained them on jobs, and we get no value out of that as a society. Why hasn't this happened yet?

Clinton It's a good question. I think part of the answer is what a lot of criminologists call punitive populism. And this is the idea that it's popular in the general public to take a very severe attitude towards punishment, and sentencing and talk around zero tolerance, mandatory sentencing, these are popularist ideas to take to an election. So part of the answer to that question is that there's no votes in saying we're going to be smarter on punishment, I think there's votes in saying we're going to be harder. There's also probably some interests at play, as you've pointed out there. But I think the major driver of, of this is, is a political one. I think there's great scope for us to think about the mix and the composition of the way that we punish. And the idea that we could have around the clock monitoring, electronic bracelets, GPS, you know, closed circuit television, surveillance, all of those things to me seem like plausible solutions to a problem, which imposes a huge, multi-billion dollar cost on our society. But they might also open up some opportunities for people not to be enculturated into a criminal community, perhaps, to how we could think more and use some of that money that we might save to think about better reintegration platforms for people, to support them in. Because as a society, we all have a huge interest in stopping recidivism. We don't want repeat customers in these prisons. So there's scope for thinking a bit differently about this, but there's no votes in this. So running a political platform on we're going to be more humanistic towards offenders is never going to win votes.

Kai But I think this is where we really have to talk about the other two components that you mentioned earlier. In the public eye. a prison sentence is a punishment, it makes us feel better than someone who's done something wrong has justice served by going to prison. But the justification for incarceration is also, on the one hand deterrence, right, so for others and that person not to reoffend. And also, of course, to protect society from that person. And I think in that category of crime that you're researching, we need to talk about whether a prison sentence is actually effective on those two categories. So what can you tell us about this?

Clinton So it seems intuitive that longer sentences would form bigger deterrents for others. But what research has consistently shown is, there's not really a relationship between maximum sentence length and the incidence of crime. And in fact, to the extent there's been any research on the way people think when they're perpetrating an offence, it typically shows that they don't have much of a sense of the number of years of a sentence that they could get, perhaps beyond some sense of they might go to, you know, a binary they might go to jail, or they might not. So what research shows is that the greatest deterrence isn't the length of the sentence, it's actually the perceived risk of being caught. You know, some people have talked about this as the general deterrence myth, that if we put up sentences we'll see lower incidence of crime.

Kai You said enculturation earlier. So there is a risk that if someone spends a lengthy prison sentence that they fall in with the wrong crowd, and actually, you know, so to speak, get more ideas for committing crime, and when they come out at the other end, with very little opportunities, that they might actually reoffend in other crime categories.

Clinton So I think if we want to create criminals, the best way to do it probably is to put them in jail for a long period of time. And there's certainly no research that suggests that longer prison sentences reduces recidivism, there's no better outcomes going forward for offenders. There's no offender-centric data on this that would support the idea that we should have longer prison sentences.

Kai Which raises the question of reoffending more generally, from white collar crime.

Clinton One of the primary objectives which is usually set out in favour of custodial sentences is protecting society from reoffending from risk. The reality is that for most categories of white collar crime, recidivism is lower than other criminal categories. And a big driver of that is that the ability to access opportunities is taken away from people once they've been sentenced, i.e. they can't get into the sorts of jobs where they might even, even if they wanted to, probably wouldn't be able to offend again.

Kai So in your podcast example, Chris was working for the ABS and had access to this sensitive information, he wouldn't be able to get into that position ever again.

Clinton That's exactly right. So that crime doesn't happen in the future. I think Chris is at a very, very low risk of reoffending, for a whole range of reasons, but one of which is having access to the sort of privileged data that is probably no longer available to him again in the future.

Kai But there are other categories of white collar crime where that is not the case.

Clinton That's certainly right. So if we think about offenders who are almost career scammers or fraudsters, these people do pose a huge risk to society, and I think should be punished with lengthy custodial sentences in the same way that any other criminal category that poses risk to society should be, taken out of our society.

Kai And incidentally, those are the categories where there's also victims that we want to justice by.

Clinton Exactly right.

Sandra But aren't we then at risk at saying, if you've punched someone in the street, then you get to go to jail. But if you worked in a nice cosy office and did insider trading, then we won't put you in jail?

Clinton And I think that's a hard point to think through. So the retired Federal Court Judge Ray Finkelstein said this was an equivalence problem. That sort of logic I'm advancing here means that whatever non-white collar crime is, you're going to be more likely to go to prison and, and white collar crime you're not. I think there's a few responses to that. One is, a lot of people who perpetrate fraud, fraud offenders, they're not Bernie Madoff. So the notion that fraud offenders are necessarily high status, white collar actors, is actually not true. But I would point to that risk to society. So regardless of the criminal category, if we don't believe there's a risk to society posed by the person, I think we need a really strong argument for incarcerating them.

Kai Because as you said, there's a cost to it. And we're actually creating a risk because they might be more likely to refund if they spend lengthy time in prison.

Clinton And part of me sometimes think I come across as open beating heart, you know, academic here with saying this. And I think there's a lot of people who would resist the arguments that I'm, I'm putting forward here. And I'm certainly not for taking away prison. It's an important bedrock of the system. What I am arguing is that I think we just need to think a little bit more creatively and be more smart about the mix of the punishment that we dish out.

Sandra So I'm gonna argue the benefit to society side. So not just the cost, but the benefit to society. Some of these people are highly educated, potentially productive members of society who will stop contributing, and actually might end up costing society, if they're unemployed, or if they do re-offend and go back to prison. So then the question is, because we've started this in the future of crime and punishment, how do we think about the future of punishment, and about redesigning the system? If technology is not the answer, what are other ways in which we could think about this?

Clinton I think this is a really challenging question. It's a really hard question. There's no simple slogan that's going to answer it, there's no one size fits all here. Even within a criminal category, we're going to see a range of different types of offenders. So we shouldn't try to boil it all down to simple slogans, and black and white rules. But in terms of some guiding principles, I think we should revisit the idea of long custodial sentences. And in instances think, can we punish in smarter ways which cause a lower cost to the public purse, perhaps open up opportunities for that person to contribute to society, and also maybe to have a better chance of reintegrating at the end of their punishment?

Kai So what are we saying, we're replacing a prison sentence with what, like community work, or...?

Clinton So I think there's lots of options there. So intensive corrections orders. So we can in fact, with the sorts of electronic monitoring that you've talked about, we can impose significant liberty depravations on people by restricting them to relatively small areas within their homes, and you know, we, we could even set hours around that. We could ensure that people do community service work, and if they don't participate in the right way, then there's an alternative of incarceration for them. And we could try to think about ways to get people to make good on restitution. So to, to the extent there is any gainful employment, that money to go to victims. I think technology as a second principle is worth exploring. So I don't think it's a whole answer, but I think it's part of perhaps a response. And we can now, through round the clock monitoring and electronic bracelets, we can restrict people's liberty quite significantly, at a much lesser cost. So I think that's worth thinking about more. And then the third thing would be, have a conversation about how we can better encourage people to reintegrate on the other side of punishment. Because at the moment, a lot of people are left to wither. And if you think about people who are on drug-related offences, there's often this cycle of going in and out of the criminal justice system, and absence meaningful ways to try and help people reintegrate, you know, that's a cycle that's really difficult to break. So I think those sorts of principles should be guiding a conversation. But you know, this is a complex space.

Sandra But the start of that conversation then is not in the technology, but in how we think about what happens to these people when they go in and when they come out. And I think for Kai and I, your podcast, The Sure Thing, I think was a real eye opener in terms of how these crimes are committed, what happens to these people once they go in, and really what happens to them on the other side,

Clinton One of the things that really struck me about The Sure Thing was, there's often claims in society that people who end up in low security prisons, it's like a resort, you know, you hear that all the time, when those are people who've never been in one, I can assure you with that,. Because the reality is, most of our minimum security prisons in this country now have significant amounts of drug-related offenders. And those people are sometimes volatile, they're sometimes you know, in physical states which are draining, and they're not necessarily straightforward places. And I think for your average person like Lukas and Chris, they're very hostile places that represent a significant punishment.

Kai And that came through in the podcast, that it is very mentally taxing to be in this environment and can feel like a real punishment to find yourself in a situation that is not only unfamiliar, but hostile as well. And the stigma that people who exit the prison system have to live with, and that the general public might not understand punishment beyond the prison sentence, that taking away people's credential, their opportunities to work in the industry that they're trained in, that these are significant punishments, the loss of identity that can far outweigh the actual prison sentence. And I think more education around this and more awareness around this might actually help finding smarter ways of punishment.

Clinton I think that's really well said Kai, and the reality is that offenders are probably right at the bottom of the pecking order in terms of groups that the public has any sympathy for, and that's understandable. But if we want to think hard about ways in which we can get better outcomes for society from the criminal justice system, I think these are the points that we have to think about. And that's the conversation that we have to have.

Kai And maybe with this conversation, we can contribute to this a little bit.

Sandra And the bigger contribution is, of course, your fantastic series, The Sure Thing, and we'll make sure to include links in the shownotes.

Kai So thank you Clinton, for joining us on the podcast today. That was really insightful and a lot of food for thought for us and everyone else who's listening.

Sandra And we'll make sure to include links to everything we've discussed in the shownotes if you want to follow up. Thanks for being with us today.

Clinton Thanks very much for having me. It was great fun.

Kai And that's all we have time for today.

Sandra Thanks for listening.

Kai Thanks for listening.

Outro This was The Future, This Week, an initiative of The University of Sydney Business School. Sandra Peter is the Director of Sydney Business Insights and Kai Riemer is Professor of Information Technology and Organisation. Connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Flipboard, and subscribe, like or leave us a rating wherever you get your podcasts. If you have any weird and wonderful topics for us to discuss, send them to

Sandra I don't know what I'm doing.

Kai Do you have that on mic?

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