I think I must have been about 17 and still living at home when it happened. We had opened our home to a young man who was what the bleeding hearts would call “troubled” he was about my age, utterly illiterate and eventually we had to ask him to leave for stealing from us, but not in a nice way and we were rather surprised to find him coming in the back door the next night. I was even more surprised to see my father shouting at him to “Get out of my house NOW!” even though this young thug was fit, strong and armed with a large knife, Thug boy retreated the way that he had come in and at that moment I was amazed at the bravery of my father because he has faced down thug boy empty handed and succeeded in keeping his family safe.
As adults we know that if we do the wrong thing that being brought before the beak will have real consequences to our lives but just imagine if we faced nothing of consequence even if we were to, say, rob an elderly couple at knife point do you think that we would have anything but contempt for the police and the courts? Well that is the situation for juvenile offenders here in Queensland, heck even if a Juvenile offender breaches the conditions of their correction orders there are no consequences, it is not even an offence under the current legal system to ignore the directions of the courts. Thankfully there are moves afoot to reform the way that young
scrotes offenders are “punished” by the courts and most importantly to get rid of the ridiculous idea that locking up young offenders should be a “last resort” as the act currently requires. Of course this change won’t mean that first offenders will automatically do the monopoly “Go to jail, do not pass go , do not collect $200” thing but in the age of the internet we can no longer pretend that clued up young crims don’t know the score and don’t know that even if they are caught that they will essentially get off Scott free. that breaching corrections orders is not even a chargeable offence.
Thankfully the Newman government is currently working on reforming the Juvenile justice system to fix these shortcomings in the system as a community we need the law to have meaningful sanctions for those who break it no matter how young they may be because its clear to the wider community that the status-quo is just not working. The intentions of the compassionate and naive to give young offenders the chance to be redeemed is noble but when such chances are endless the sanctions of the courts become utterly impotent. As a society we need the courts to be effective and its very clear that the juvenile justice system here is utterly broken and I really hope that the current review fixes it and if it means that the current generation of young thugs actually do some real porridge then that will be a very good outcome.
Now if they could just bring back hanging then we could really make a dent in the numbers of criminals in our midst 😉