Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


For some reason the minority faction AKA the Lib Dems has been very quiet over the havoc being visited upon the Justice System by the actions of C.Grayling and T. May.  Once again he who presumes himself fuehrer of that party has allied himself with Grayling about what must be done to reduce re-offending by the young.   With yet another missive from the spin doctors at Petty France, London SW1 we are given an insight into their plans:- “Under the plans to transform youth custody, a pioneering Secure College will be built in the East Midlands. The fortified school will provide young offenders with strong discipline, while focusing squarely on rehabilitation and education. The Secure College will have a head teacher or principal at the core of a leadership team made up of educational professionals and offender managers”.  The complete text is here.  I am old enough to remember what was meant by approved school and borstal.  Wikipedia helps out……..

Approved School is a term formerly used in the United Kingdom for a residential institution to which young people could be sent by a court, usually for committing offences but sometimes because they were deemed to be beyond parental control. It is similar to a reform school in the United States. They were modelled on ordinary boarding schools, from which it was relatively easy to abscond. This set them apart from borstals, a tougher and more enclosed kind of youth prison.

“A borstal was a type of youth detention centre in the United Kingdom.  borstals were run by HM Prison Service and intended to reform seriously delinquent young people.  The word is sometimes used loosely to apply to other kinds of youth institution or reformatory,  such as Approved Schools and Detention Centres. The court sentence was officially called "borstal training". Borstals were originally for offenders under 21, but in the 1930s the age was increased to under 23. The Criminal Justice Act 1982  abolished the borstal system in the UK, introducing youth custody centres instead”.

I`ve always believed that almost every type of government policy is as much dependent on fashion as is haute couture or the car industry etc etc.  They follow the swing of the pendulum; the period is all that varies.

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