The Guardian reports on the use of "anti-social behaviour orders" (ASBOs) in Manchester.
Since Asbos were introduced five years ago, Manchester has issued more than 300 orders - almost twice as many as any other city in the country - and has led the field not only in numbers, but in the imaginative audacity of its Asbos. Some orders have included a ban on riding a bicycle in the city centre, on meeting more than three non-family members in public, on wearing a balaclava in the street, on wearing a single golf glove. One Asbo received nationwide coverage in January for its ban on a 14-year-old boy saying the word "grass" anywhere in England or Wales until 2010, and in April a city magistrate served what was believed to be a first, banning a 16-year-old boy from misbehaving in school. If he disrupts a class, he can now be sent to prison.
While I agree that the behavior of children who are receiving these orders is definitely wrong, I do not think that these ASBOs are needed to restrict their behavior. They seem more like cruel and unusual punishment than helping to reintegrate the children into society.