A punishment suitable for a child.Just reading this about Youth Prisons.
The National vice-chairman of the Prison Officers Association said that they 'were not able to exert discipline because the current practice was to treat 15 to 17-year-old offenders as children' and they were 'terrified of rocking the liberal boat'.
What a dilemma! Is that not the same issue that is taking place up and down our country? The one that hits the very fabric of our society. Legislation forbids certain actions and damn the repercussions. It can take years before it comes home to roost but it's certainly here now.
It also made me think about what we class as children. Why are children in Prison anyway? Then when you look it's the 15 to 17 year olds who are classed as children but are probably what most of us think of as hardened criminals. You see they start on a life of crime at 9-13 and discover that there is nothing that can be done to them. The Police don't chase them, and if they do, when they catch them nothing happens. A pitiful few hours of fear then nothing. Do Gooders blame the parents and help protect them from their actions. They clock up years of driving bans when age already has them off the road. It's their parents who get the punishment. Wham!, then they hit 15/16 and the protection just vanishes. The Do Gooders just walk away and the full force of the law now falls on them. At this stage they know nothing else but crime and it is very difficult, if not impossible, to get out of.
Although I don't like to I agree in a way with Bliar. We need to do something about these young offenders. But, happily, I disagree with the way to do it. I think we should start by defining exactly what it means to be a child, ages 0-17. 18 is where we are all adults. Then sort out appropriate punishments for each age group. Get child psychologists, parents and children’s groups involved in the process and make sure parents get some form of punishment they can allocate made available from an early age. Including corporal punishment. Put the power back into the parent’s hands.
My only fears are that the next bunch of parents are the ones who have grown up with no discipline. There is a complete generation of children who have grown up with no discipline and a complete generation of children already who do not have any future because they know nothing but crime and are ill educated due to other policies.
Can we recover from that? As a society we can, if we actually change the course we are taking now. But we need to ensure we something about this lost generation, if we can.