A couple of weeks before the Christmas, one of our residents, Mike, 18, openly divulged to several staff that he had acquired some of his yuletide gifts for his family by stealing them. Although starved of intelligence and devoid of manners, Mike is in no ways cash hungry. He is on lucrative benefit payments and receives regular cash donations from his father who works abroad. However, much of his income is regularly being paid out on various fines he receives from the courts and the police whilst persuing his favourite hobby of being a public nuisance. In defence of his latest criminal activities Mike felt that it should be appreciated that he was no longer burglaring people's homes as he had lately required a conscience in this area. One of my colleagues actually congratulated him for this, as if he was doing the local community a favour by no longer 'choosing' to break in to people's homes.
Anyway, when trying to talk to him about his immoral behaviour I became aware that both myself and my colleague were trying to get Mike to see the error of his ways by appealing to how crime would affect him as opposed to the effects it has on others. My colleague made no mention of the victims of his actions and I only made reference to it and was immediately accused by Mike of the greatest taboo in the social delinquents perpetuation sector: judgmentalism. My colleague was quick to assure Mike that he wasn't being judged. Instead, I took to plain speaking and told him that it wasn't I that was going to judge him but rather someone called a Judge who would indeed be judgemental as his job description requires just that. However, as I have said the angle we were taking was one of trying to make him see how crime would affect him should he continue to keep appearing in court. Should we have employed a technique of say condemnatory language for his actions as well as trying to make him ashamed of himself by being harsh in describing how his crimes affect other people we could have well faced disciplinary action should he have made a complaint, which is his right, about the way and manner we spoke to him.
In fact, Mike did just that with regards to a colleague verbally reprimanding him for bad behaviour on the project the year before. The colleague was suspended and an investigation was launched. She was so demeaned by this experience that she resigned her post whilst being investigated for the crime of plain speaking to a feral yob. Mike openly boasted of how he got rid of her. The threat of such complaints censors many staff from plain speaking when dealing with young people engaged in crime or other anti-social behaviour. One wrong word or misconstrued phrase and you could find yourself up on a disciplinary hearing for 'oppressive' language. This culture where 'judgmental' language is seen as the ultimate taboo allows for criminals like Mike to shift the balance of power in their direction in that support workers fear telling the truth or evoking shame in a resident for fear of a complaint being made against them.
What I have highlighted in the above example is indicative of a trend in the wider society and that is how perpetrators of crimes, even the most heinous, can so easily achieve victim status even superseding the rights of those they have commited crimes against. This trend is being reported more and more by the media lately. The actress and singer Myleene Klass was warned by police for trying to protect herself in her own home. There was the high profile case of the business man jailed, but later released for the crime of defending his home against vicious and dangerous criminals.
After the horrific case in Edlington where two boys attacked, tortured and brutalised two boys of a similar age,the social care magazine, Children and Young People Now advocates reaching out to future torturers and trying to understand them. No mention is made of providing services for their victims. Whilst I agree that the torturers were to a degree a product of their environment and don't advocate or support lynch mobs to deal with such people something in me cringes when reading an article that makes no mention of the people who have suffered at the hands of the people they are defending.
Instead of arguing for targeting dysfunctional families whose children may be being socialised in to savage torturers would it not make more sense to prohibit such people from breeding in the first place? However, that wouldn't suit the social services and social care industry which requires the children of the extremely dysfunctional and disturbed for its perpetuation. Many livelihoods and lucrative salaries depend on Britain remaining in the social morass in which it finds itself. As a boss of mine once said, "If we do our job correctly we do ourselves out of a job."