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.





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Thursday, 9 February 2017

PUBLIC PROTECTION AND PUBLIC PERCEPTION

During my time on the bench I lost count of the number of occasions on which I had to remind colleagues, especially those recently appointed, that in addition to the tick box sentencing process and listening to mitigation of offenders we also had a duty of public protection.  Many of these newer colleagues expressed surprise as this aspect of sentencing had never been mentioned during their training sessions. Important as it was and is,  it is not to be confused with public perception.  A bench in  Llandudno has been castigated owing to public perception in its failing to consider public protection.  In this case I fear the perception truly illustrates the bench`s misconceived attitude to punishment for punishment is exactly what a curfew is; a deprivation of liberty albeit without being held within the confines of an institution built for that purpose. 

As the clamour increases for rehabilitation to take precedence over punishment for lower level criminality I fear that J.P.s might be enveloped within that  approaching cloud of optimistic benevolent wet eyed mistiness which looks for the good and overlooks the evil.


2 comments:

  1. How long does it usually take to write? Why do you write…? I’m so confused nowadays. So I’m writing to you because I need your advise. I don’t have any visitors. But I don’t be discouraged by it and keep trying harder!!! ��

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  2. As always, what you don't get in any local rag is the full facts, just the headline. The decision is a strange one on the face if it, but without knowing the detail any view/comment is just speculation.

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