Podcast

Episode 29 • Crime

29

Get caught

Shoplifting

Juvie

Get sentenced to...

Community service

Story

Girl: Oh my gosh, did you hear about Stephanie? No, not that Stephanie! The one from our school! Apparently she got caught shoplifting at Walmart.
[Phone gibberish]
Girl: I don’t really know. I think a lipstick or something like that.
[Phone gibberish]
Girl: When I first heard, I thought they were going to send her to juvie. You know, because of her age.
[Phone gibberish]
Girl: Yeah, well, apparently, she got lucky and she only got sentenced to 50 hours of community service. So she has to work at the local library for I don’t even how many weeks and…

Stephanie: You know I’m right here, right?

Girl: Oh, yes, Stephanie. I’d like to take this book, thank you! Anyway…

Questions

Okay, it's time to take a look at today's expressions.

Get caught

'She got caught shoplifting.'

• If you use the expression ‘get caught’, is it because you were doing something good or something bad?

If you get caught, that means that you were doing something that you shouldn't have been doing, so something probably bad to either be embarrassed of, or guilty about.

• If you get caught, are people aware on unaware of what your were doing?

If you get caught, those people who caught you are the ones that know what you were doing. Imagine I am stealing some food from the kitchen and you get caught. The people that have caught you, that have seen you, know what you were doing. They know it perfectly.

• Have you ever gotten caught doing something you shouldn’t have?

Yes, I've got caught, unfortunately, many times. For example, the first thing that comes to my mind is the time that I skipped school and my mom caught me. That was a bad one. Another time when I got caught cheating on a test. That happened probably more than once. Just like everybody else, you do bad things and sometimes you get caught.

Shoplifting

'She got caught shoplifting.'

• If you shoplift, do you steal from a store or from a house?

Shoplifting, just like the word itself tells you, is about stealing from a shop or from a store.

• Do you use a weapon?

No, that's the thing. It's not a robbery. When you're shoplifting, you go to the store and you pretend that you're a customer. Maybe you buy a few things or maybe not. You just walk around. Then when you see something that you want to steal, you put it under your coat or in your bag, making sure that nobody sees you, but there's no violence involved.

• Have you ever seen someone shoplifting?

I, unfortunately, have. Clearly remember one time. It was at a supermarket. He was this older man. He must've been probably like 70 or so. I clearly saw him, and I think he knew that I caught him. I remember going up to my mum, I was pretty young back then, going up to my mom and telling her. She was just like, "Mind your own business. Don't say anything." At the end of the day, he was probably struggling. I don't think he was doing it just for the fun of it. I didn't do anything but I did catch him, so he got caught.

Juvie

'They were going to send her to juvie.'

• Is juvie a detention center for young people or adults?

Juvie comes from the word juvenile detention center. It's for young people. We're talking minors, so anybody who's younger than 18 years old.

• Why can you be sent to juvie?

Every time you commit a pretty serious crime, you can be sent to juvie. If you cheat on a test at school, you are not going to be sent to juvie. There's going to be other punishments. For example, if you do drugs and you get caught, or for example, if you-- I don't even know. If you hurt someone, then yes, you could be sent to juvie. Careful when we're talking about legal terms because a lot of times things will differ based on the country where you are. Juvie, it is used in the United States. The name may differ, or you may not even have anything like it in your country.

• Do you think it’s a good idea to send a kid to juvie?

Honestly, I don't think juvie is a great idea because if a kid is already having problems, I don't think that kind of center is actually going to help them become a better person. I wish there were other options for younger kids to get help. I know that a lot of times there aren't. If that really is the only option, I guess it's okay. It's a really tough one.

Get sentenced to...

'She only got sentenced to 50 hours of community service.'

• If you get sentenced to, let’s say, 1 year of prison, who makes that decision?

It's the judge. There is a judge that decides how bad your punishment should be.

• What can you be sentenced to?

There's many things she can be sentenced to. You can be sentenced to spend some time in prison. You can use the expression, he got sentenced to five days in prison, three years in prison, or he got sentenced to death. That's the extreme, or he even got sentenced to pay a fine, which is no big deal especially compared to the death thing. You can use it with whatever the sentence is, which is what's great about this expression.

Community service

'She only got sentenced to 50 hours of community service.'

• Do you get paid for doing community service?

No, community service is volunteer work that you do, like the word says, in your community. It can be maybe going to a nursing home to help older people, or maybe going to a dog shelter and you do not get paid for it, especially when you're doing community service because you've committed a crime because that's your punishment. Obviously, you're not going to get anything from it.

• Is doing community service a good punishment in your opinion?

I think it could be a great punishment because, I think, it teaches you something. It's not just about the punishment. It's also about giving you a different perspective. Imagine going to work with the disabled or at a food bank or at a dog shelter. You put things into perspective and maybe you start caring about others more which will make it less likely that you're going to commit a crime in the future, I think. I'm no psychologist, but this is my idea.

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