I am amazed at what goes on in the CJS. I live in what can only be described as a shithole. That is how we describe it. Lefties would describe it as a poor, deprived town, righties would describe it as somewhere up North we would rather not mention, it’s a shithole no matter which way you look at it. We are simply too afraid to say it out loud.
Let’s take criminal behaviours. When we commit crime, we are behaving. I used to behave in a way that was against the law, I no longer behave this way. Why? I didn’t have rehabilitation (as it is called today) we simply stopped doing what we were doing and nothing was made of it, we weren’t given awards nor were we given a Channel 4 documentary. We didn’t know what the word rehabilitation meant, it was never used. We were piled in the back of a van, taken to the “nick” and on one occasion I was handcuffed to the custody sergeant’s desk. Superb sergeants and police officers who were just as gritty as we were. Them were t’days.
I read and educate myself and I have a fairly good understanding of politics, government agendas and all-in-all, I am fair-to-middling in the grey matter area for a former builder from one of the shittiest towns in the North. I’m not a writer (I taught myself to read at 21) though. I’m a working class Northern lad who has taken a look around at the broken communities. I look at criminal behaviours and little tow rags committing some savage crimes. There is little honour in teenagers these days,. No respect, I might have been a pain in the royal behind to the local constabulary, but I would never speak to an elderly person with disrespect. Despite coming from a family of alcoholics, poverty and cockroaches crawling in the sugar pot, we had values drummed into us. The youth offending (a new name) sector seems to be a business these days and is out of control and there is no coming back from this. Rehabilitation is not working, clearly not, Grayling is building a new borstal somewhere, preparing for these “youths” to break the law. When a treasury builds new prisons, yet throws immense amounts of cash at rehabilitation companies (lest us forget the recent sledgehammer on Probation) that tells me everything. Rehabilitation is not happening. It’s a word that is used to dumb us down into not seeing the real issues going on.
Criminality is rife. It ain’t going anywhere soon, Grayling. The gravy train for that one is too big.
Victims – My favourite topic. I am soon to be called victim-.blaming I suspect. There is a crusade going on. My parents were alcoholics. Am I a victim? No, because today’s society only concentrates on its young. We have more victims because there are more laws. Should I report my parents for abuse? My father is dead, we could convict him for being an abusive bastard to his wife and children. I am disgusted just as much as the next person when I read stories of children being subjected to abuse and I mean abuse, yet we have a society that seems hell bent on criminalising almost everything. Social media reporting, newspaper copy and an abundance of women’s magazines with stories that simply are families making a bob or two for their problems. I was married for 18 years and while it was a marriage that I regretted two years in, I made an effort to remain in that marriage for my son’s sake. That was what we did and my wife drank neat vodka every night. It was hell, but had I left, what would have happened to my son? She was also in a profession that cared for those with mental health problems. I prevented my son during his childhood from being a victim by modern standards. That was my duty as a father and one I took seriously. The current call for victims is nothing short of inviting problems. Domestic abuse is not defined and I suspect, at some point or another, we are all victims at some point in our lives. Victims of crime go through pain of course they do but being “brave” is now considered telling a story to all. Bravery and courage has lessened in meaning. My 78-year old mother was beaten by my father. She cannot talk about it to this day. That’s not a sign of modern times, that’s a woman who has moved on with her life and come to terms that the man she married, my father, was a out and out bastard to her. People fronted it out and got on with life. My sisters and I look after her now and she was no shrinking violet herself – she was handy with a slipper or two when we were kids. We didn’t use the word “victims” we were poor, neglected and lived in extreme poverty.
There is a mixed reaction as we have many generations living in modern times. People are living longer and many can remember the tough times of the post-war era and compare with today’s events and how hard life is. I was a child in the “everything goes” decade, the 60’s and began my first drinking (soon to become a huge problem and related to my time in police cells and magistrates courts) binges in the tough 70’s. While drugs were appearing more in public and the elite have always taken drugs, I was never able to afford them.
Modern times have a lot to answer for. Society causes many of its problems. Is it any wonder our younger generation are in trouble and the treasury is preparing to “secure” them?