short, sharp shock
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short, sharp shock1 a brief but harsh custodial sentence imposed on offenders in an attempt to discourage them from committing further offences. 2 a severe measure taken in order to effect quick results.
The Home Secretary William Whitelaw advocated the short sharp shock as a form of corrective treatment for young offenders at the 1979 Conservative Party Conference; the deterrent value of such a regime was to be its severity rather than the length of time served.