Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Juvenile offenders

I couldn't rest last night, I couldn't sleep. I was thinking about juvenile offenders, and how the British government plans to escort them from the cradle to the grave.

"Your father was no good, your father's father was no good. And you'll be no good, either, my boy, unless you submit to various agencies intervening in your development. Do you want to be one of the 65% of children of criminal parents who serve time themselves? Do you want to graduate from your school with a clutch of A-C GCSEs and take up a dream post in a bowling alley, or would you rather graduate with arms covered in D-I-Y tatoos and needlemarks into a life of crime and penal correction. Perhaps you'd like to think about that before you go to bed tonight. I know you're only 6, but we really do need to make a start if we're going to make society safe from the likes of the monster you could quite easily grow into... okay, finish your chips and up to bed..."

I am trying to combine this idea with a dataset that is processed by software to produce accurate assessments of the child at various life points, 16, 18, 21, 30 etc

The child would come home and access a secure website where they can see the latest model of their futures, personal cautionary tales to inspire them to behaving as model citizens.

"The parameters of the friend you made at school today are x y and z."

Up would pop a friendly surrogate father figure, who would do a few "Ho ho ho's" and then recommend that you never spoke to your new friend again, as he will lead you to a life of crime (probability of 85%)

"In fact, I'm going to make it easier for you, Dean. If you put this shockstrap on your leg, I will deliver up to 100 volts of alternating current whenever you speak to this boy. That way, we'll soon learn our lesson and find some wholesome companions, won't we. Now just click here to agree..."

24 hour monitoring by satellite, behaviour control (either by software, supervisor, or chemical means), and occasionally pain/punishment, these will be the tools used to guide the next generation of offenders away from the patterns laid down by their reprobate parents.

********

Do I believe the government are right? In some respects, they are right, the numbers stack up. But a society where people are brought into state-sponsored programmes on the basis of statistical indicators is unsound, as these programmes are, finally, politically motivated, and in age of such populist policy-making as ours, there are dangers. In truth, it has most in common with government programmes that sought to "cure" homosexuals by placing them in mental hospitals and/or giving them shock therapy. Or another example, doctors performing physical measurements of young boys and girls to determine suitable candidates for centrally organised athletics/gymnastics programmes in Communist countries.

Maybe the government should accept that criminals will emerge, and equip them with a range of skills suitable to the application of their craft. They could be given anger management classes, taught how to stay calm under pressure, where to shoot someone to disable them without delivering life-threatening injuries, etc. A new generation of socially responsible "safe" criminals, who go about their business with society's blessing.

Ahhhh, now there's more of my kind of social engineering.

1 Comments:

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8:05 AM  

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