A Norway special…

July 7, 2019

 (Ed note: We depart the usual variety of topics to present you who follow in particular the criminal justice system with two articles from the BBC both with some considerable staying and reflective power.)
 BBC News – Emma Jane Kirby
How Norway turns criminals into good neighbours

Every once in a while, an article comes along that offers a fresh breath of air to an issue deeply mired in political and personal angst.  We have been collectively deeply entrenched in positions around crime and punishment that condemn us to simply re-enforcing a known hackneyed perspective.  This article raises elements already known, and to some extent at least, the approach helped to initiate and direct the US prison reform movement.  Here, there is a clarity that may restore hope and guidance in prison policy.  https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/stories-48885846?__twitter_impression=true

BBC News – Jon Kelly
‘The day I went to prison, I got my life back’

This link explores what surely must be a significant reversal, enough to make us standstill and ponder in a different way those usual components associated with jail sentences but equally those elements of domestic violence that cry out for a better response from both the legal system and social support.  “Outside, Lilly had been used to being shouted at, bullied and assaulted. She’d been a victim of domestic violence – like 57% of woman prisoners, according to the Prison Reform Trust. She’d overcome addiction and attempted suicide numerous times. In prison, she’d be safe from the man who’d beaten and raped her, the boyfriend who’d held her at gunpoint, the partner she says preyed on her addictions and ended up as another co-accused… Her children had already been taken from her, and the pain of the separation gnawed at her relentlessly. So what else was there to lose? … Just get me to jail now, she thought. I’m ready, take me now.”  https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-45821932