the punishment fit the crime


Senior Member
Please help me to understand the sentence below :

"Making the punishment fit the crime is a useful notion, which would see children being made to pick up rubbish they have dropped, clean up graffiti they have drawn, or apologise to someone they have hurt."

Source : Cambridge IELTS Book 10

How to explain "the punishment fit the crime" ?

Thanks !!
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  • Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    The words in the rest of the sentence explain the idea. For example if people have sprayed paint on a building to write graffiti, then make them clean it off. This will take quite a lot of their time and require hard work, and so will be a suitable punishment.

    The idea is that, if possible, the punishment should undo the harm done by the crime.
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