Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “rehabilitation”

Political Stupidity

Just how stupid can politicians get or do they not think things through? Probably both!

The latest idiocy is to suggest cutting the benefits of people unable to work because of their addiction  to drugs or alcohol unless they agree to take part in a rehabilitation programme.

All they had to do was to ask a therapist (& I happen to be one) for an opinion and they would have been told that unless the addict really wants to change, any therapy will be a complete waste of time and money.  In addition, surely it must be obvious that cutting benefits will result in more crime in order to feed the habit or buy the booze.

If anyone needs rehabilitation into real life it must be politicians, most of ’em anyway.

Justice? I Think So.

I had one of those e petitions today asking me to sign to prevent the killers of Jamie Bulger, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson being released with new identities and possibly eventually into a new life in Australia. Now I’m a great one for petitions but I thought about this one long and hard and in the end  I decided that I couldn’t sign it.

What they did was of course, almost unbelievable, all the more so for being just ten years of age at the time but what do we know about their family background and the environment in which they lived. They have spent many years locked up and undergoing intensive therapies, re-programming if you like.

If punishment is required then losing the rest of their childhood and teenage years may not be sufficient for some but is an enormous price to pay and how long is punishment to continue. For ever? Along with punishment should go rehabilitation and those who are in a better position to know than us are convinced that this has been achieved. For justice to be true to itself there is or should be the element of mercy. Now that the killers are young men, no amount of continued punishment will ever remove from their memories the horror of what they did; their self punishment will be life long. It’s time for them and us to move on.

See also this group

Lock ‘Em Up

Here we go again, the old and familiar Tory cry of ‘lock them up.’ This time it’s David Cameron saying that anyone over the age of 16 caught carrying a knife should be given a prison sentence. Under ‘New’ Labour too the prison population has steadily increased, so no new thinking anywhere.

We already imprison a higher percentage of our population than any other country apart from the USA. It’s about time someone in power thought to themselves this isn’t working. It’s no good the political parties vying with each other over how many people they can lock up and say that while they are inside they can’t commit a crime. It is indeed true of course but eventually they are released and emerge back into society having had an intensive course in criminality from experts.

We don’t need more prisons, we need to get out of prison those have mental health problems and those who are in there for generally pathetic cases such as non payment of fines out of disgustingly low incomes. There must be greatly increased resources in the prisons to educate and reform the inmates before release. Huge numbers of prisoners are there for usually multiple but petty offences related to drug addiction and imprisonment will not make any difference to the vast majority. I shall write more on this subject another time.

The media also has a part to play and resist going along with a public perception, fuelled by politicians that more and more of our citizens should be ‘locked up.’ Imprisonment is not a deterrent and the punishment part of a sentence is actually the first three months, after which inmates merely become used to the routine and institutionalised. Unless the remaining time includes education, training and rehabilitation it is a complete waste of the money spent on incarceration.

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