The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Let's See How This Pans Out

I commented on this wheeze some time ago, in this post. I remain sceptical about its usefulness except as a sop to the tabloids.
As it happens I had a short chat the other day with a young man who told me that he had just finished 180 hours of unpaid work, to which he had been sentenced for a second, and high-level, drink-drive. I asked him how he had found the experience, and he said that it had had a major impact on his free time (180 hours is about six months of Saturdays). He had been placed in a local charity shop, and had helped with various tasks such as sorting stock, cleaning, a bit of painting, and serving customers. He said that he had found it worthwhile, and that he had felt that he was doing a job that needed to be done. I was very interested in this, because we get next to no feedback on community orders - I have not been able to fix a visit to a project for over ten years, which is quite wrong. Just one thing though - would it really have helped if this man had been forced to wear a fluorescent tabard while working in the shop? Would the shop have accepted that? Would it help his rehabilitation?