Sunday, February 26, 2006

Criminally Insane

As previously mentioned, I have a job escorting young offenders to and from secure accommodation and the courts. The job is interesting in lots of ways.

The offenders themselves are generally those that show the worst of juvenile behaviour. You don't get banged up at the age of 14 for stealing the odd car and setting fire to it. Not the first time, and not probably the tenth. Everything possible is done to keep them out of secure accommodation. These are persistent reoffenders, most often violent.

Although the work puts myself in the firing line of violence (heaven forbid), it has enabled me to see the criminal justice system for the first time at close hand. What I see is not very encouraging.

We often travel across the country taking offenders to court when they have absolutely no input in the process whatsoever except for, perhaps, saying their name. They get talked at by their solicitor but seem to have no interest or participation in what is going on.

Money can certainly be saved, and lots of it. However, it would be (partly) at the expense of my puny income, so I'll keep quiet for the time being. The offenders are always treated with the greatest of respect and courtesy by the courts, police, the secure accommodation people and us, as you would expect.

However, there must be a better way of administering justice.

I just haven't figured it out yet. When I have, I'll let you know first.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Long Time No See

Stuff has been going on and I have been neglecting my blog.

Twice in the last week or so people have asked me why I haven't been keeping it up. Simply, it's because I no longer spend all day in front of a computer. So, by way of a personal update:

  • I still do not have a proper job (despite a couple of very near misses)
  • I have an occasional driving job for a local courier where they cheerfully pay well below the minimum wage
  • I also have an occasional job escorting young offenders (up to age 16) between secure accommodation (prison) and the courts

This last job is fascinating in lots of ways. It is interesting to try to understand what makes these young, persistent offenders tick. Also, it is my first encounter with the criminal justice system. From what I can see, it doesn't seem to work very well.

Also, the guitar playing is progressing. This weekend, I performed at the Jake Thackray evening in Knutsford.

That's about it for the updates. More revealing posts to follow.