Russia Considers Printing Photos of Deadbeat Dads on Pizza Boxes

The country's bailiffs are considering a new proposal to shame alimony debtors, with a nod to the U.S.

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JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images

Russia is cracking down on fathers who don’t pay their child support, and the latest suggestion might be the cleverest one yet. Russian law enforcement officials could start printing photos of deadbeat dads on pizza boxes, according to Chief Russian Bailiff Artur Parfenchikov.

The country has already taken several steps to humiliate such scofflaws. Photos of “alimony debtors,” as they’re called in Russia, can be spotted on billboards, banners and online, UPI reports. The effect of public shaming has been astounding: the number of unpaid child support cases dropped 30 percent to 881,000 from 2007 to 2011, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

The idea, which came up during a recent meeting of bailiffs, was apparently inspired by existing practices in the United States. In Cincinnati, Ohio, a woman named Cynthia Brown came up with the idea when she was ordering pizza, the Associated Press reports.

“It suddenly dawned on me that most people running from the law don’t eat out, they order pizza,” said Brown, who is the executive of the Butler County Child Enforcement Agency.

The idea was adopted in Kentucky as well, where a father turned himself in after discovering flyers of his face attached to pizza boxes. He apparently owed more than $20,000, a law official in Hopkins County, Ky., told CNN.

But It has also drawn backlash from people who accuse the tactic of “demonizing” fathers, according to the advocacy group Fathers-4-Justice.

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