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written by The Justice of the Peace on the 10th June 2019 at 12:45

Main stream news unsurprisingly reports legal matters at the top of the legal tree; violent criminality, criminal suspected activity by famous persons, international infamous criminality, multi billion cases from the civil courts etc etc. These are the headline makers; the two minutes in a ten minute news bulletin. These events are not the legal stuff that affect the vast majority of the public. The million and more cases before magistrates courts every year are those which have an impact on the lives of most of us. And all the processes involved in these matters are treated with contempt by government. Police are so under resourced that most so called "minor" offences are in simple language "written off". Those that actually get to court, the tip of an unknown criminal iceberg, are often undercharged, undefended by people who have not the wherewithal intellectually or financially to present their case and who face a punishment if guilty determined by MOJ budgetary restraints rather than joined up thinking. Around 70% of those million cases have alcohol or drug addiction at the root cause of their offending and no government has has an answer to this problem which is costing billions of £ and thousands of lives annually. Those policy makers are bean counters with the occasional answers from innovating thinkers squeezed out of the process as was David Nutt. I am no innovator by training or inclination but a moment`s thought must lead to the conclusion that change is overdue in the treatment of such offenders as this. There is no sentence suitable for her or to address her offending. My answer is, to use the term offered by the Victorians, the workhouse. Not the institution we all read about as described by Dickens but an institution fit for the problems of the 21st century. Type that word "workhouse" into the search box on the side of this post for further information of my proposals which of course have absolutely no chance of being acceptable to any authority steeped in the ways of those who govern us. Innovative thinking is not a requirement for the MOJ just as common sense, a requirement when I was appointed JP, is not needed now to sit on the bench.
 Originally posted at

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