Thursday, 18 August 2011

Lets Bang Everybody Up!

I am not a hang 'em, flog 'em, lock 'em up type myself. I have done enough work in prisons to know what they are really like. I think every knee jerk bang 'em up type should spend a week in Lincoln Prison and let us know how he (it usually is a he) feels about it afterwards. I have worked with enough young people to know that in the majority of cases there are alternatives to prison. Sentences should be appropriate and so too should the nature of where we bang people up and thats a debate worth having too.

But: We are angry are we not. We have watched loads of "hoodies" piling into places and stealing, damaging and burning. We want order and we want revenge, lets be honest about that.

That's easier to play to than dealing with the underlying issues like a lack of youth support services. I don't mean youth centre's either I mean places for people to live and be developed in the way their parents should have done or been able to do. By youth I am talking 14 to 26. The building of confidence, education and options away from the gang culture that has claimed so many lives is a seriously important objective.

Government is presiding over a reduction in those services when this will cost more than it saves and more importantly it will cost quality as well as loss of life for people who could make a contribution.

It would be easy to say from my political view point that the Tories will drop this ball but will they?
Iain Duncan Smith
Ian Duncan Smith MP
Ian Duncan Smith has said that the Tory government under Margaret Thatcher may have "freed up the markets" but missed "the next bit". Mr Cameron has already promised to boost a plan to help 120,000 troubled families through early intervention and Mr Duncan Smith denied that such a programme was unaffordable.
"We're spending a lot of money sending them off to offenders' institutions, to prison, intervening at all sorts of stages," he said.
"You can save a lot of that by getting these interventions right, earlier on."
Measures would include remedial education, work programmes, job interviews and drug addiction rehabilitation, he said here. Is this the Christian compassion of a committed spiritual person or is he reflecting also new values he detects within a Government many of us feel is simply failing the people.
The models he espouse though already exist and are operating here in Lincoln but also in other places and they have worked in my experience with over 70% of the young people who have engaged with those services and they are the one's who stayed the course. I mention some of the organisations here that carry out such work.

I wonder if...........................


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