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So much for rehabilitation

(36 Posts)
Smileless2012 Wed 07-Feb-18 19:18:15

So Vennebles has been sentenced to 3 years for breaking the terms and conditions of his release and being found in possession of some vile child pornography. This is his second arrest since his release.

How many of us are dreading the day, some time in the future of turning on the news and hearing that he's been arrested and charged with the murder of another poor little innocent.

Surely the reason criminals are sent to prison is to punish them for their crimes so shouldn't rehabilitation be secondary to that?

The authorities emphasised the terms and conditions attached to their release together with the belief that they no longer posed a thread, to quash the public out cry their release produced.

3 years IMO is a disgrace, 30 wouldn't be enough.

Bridgeit Wed 07-Feb-18 19:54:22

Absolutely agree with your post,Smiless, Life should mean life for such crimes.
Perhaps it’s time for another review of our judicial system

Nelliemoser Wed 07-Feb-18 20:05:57

Read This first

Both those boys had such a bad upbringing they did not stand a chance from the beginning. They were also victims of really awful neglect and poor and abusive parenting.

They should have never been put through the justice system in the first place given their backgrounds.
Very little education they were probably really unable to plead at all. They were seriously damaged children at early age and should have been in specialised secure care not the regimes of youth offending institutions . They were certainly incredibly harsh and probably still are.

Their offences were dreadful but that was not really down to those two "lost boys."

MissAdventure Wed 07-Feb-18 20:10:57

I'm torn between thinking that children need a chance to grow up and be rehabilitated, and utter disgust at what they did to that little tot.
I can hardly bear to watch Jamie's mum on tv. Even now, the pain is etched onto her poor face.

Smileless2012 Wed 07-Feb-18 20:16:42

Sadly Nelliemoser they are not alone in being raised in dysfunctional circumstances but not all children unfortunate to have had the same bad experiences, become killers.

You say their lack of education questioned their ability to plead, but it didn't prevent them from placing that poor child's body on a rail track in the hope that if he were run over by a train, the true cause of his death wouldn't be known.

I agree that they should have been placed in specialised secure care and IMO they should still be there today.

sunseeker Wed 07-Feb-18 20:25:04

Whilst I agree they were just two little boys, so was little James. They were of an age where they would know that hurting a small child was wrong. Let's remember little James died in pain and alone - I will keep my compassion for him and his family. It should also be remembered that as far as we are aware Thompson has not reoffended since his release.

MissAdventure Wed 07-Feb-18 20:27:56

I suppose it doesn't matter why they may have been driven to do what they did, whether it was through bad home lives. The fact remains that Venables, at least, is a danger to others.

Ginny42 Wed 07-Feb-18 20:53:22

It was reported that as well as images he had a book in his possession which detailed how to have sex with children and not get caught.

He is clearly a danger to children still.

kittylester Wed 07-Feb-18 21:24:22

Despite the fact he is a danger still, he is still damaged by his upbringing.

Luckygirl Wed 07-Feb-18 21:46:50

What a conundrum: damaged children killing a child. It is of course horrific.

Venables does, I think, at the present moment represent a danger to children, and he needs a secure unit with therapeutic input. He is now an adult and responsible for his actions; but never had the chance to be a child. Such a damaged human being.

I do not know what the answer is - they are all victims.

maryeliza54 Thu 08-Feb-18 00:16:29

It was completely wrong that they were tried as adults in an adult court.

absent Thu 08-Feb-18 04:47:29

Feelings will of course run very high for anyone who was aware of events at the time of James Bulger's murder. It was, indeed, an awful crime and truly terrible in more than one way. If, as it seems, one of the perpetrators is now a risk to other children, he should – before anything else – be prevented from causing harm.

However, in general, I do believe that rehabilitation is at least as important as the punishment of loss of freedom. Unfortunately, it comes way down the priorities in many prisons and institutions, partly owing to lack of money, partly to lack of will, partly because prisoners with shortish sentences are not there for long enough for any help that is provided to do much good, partly because prisoners are moved around to different prisons and partly because the public doesn't seem to care.

Changing the revolving door for prisoners must happen, not just for their benefit but for the benefit of wider society. Proper education – a high percentage of prisoners is illiterate – and rehabilitation programmes would be a major step forward.

The issue of serious crime committed by already damaged children is much more complex and requires a highly specialised – and much more expensive and time-consuming – approach. I still think it is worthwhile.

kittylester Thu 08-Feb-18 06:53:41

Good post, absent

OldMeg Thu 08-Feb-18 07:54:59

Rehabilitation does not seem to have worked in Venebles case and there is clear evidence he is a danger to children.

I can only hope that Robert Thompson did benefit and is living out his life, somewhere, blamelessly. .

MissAdventure Thu 08-Feb-18 08:09:01

I wouldn't want to think a 'rehabilitated' child predator was around my family.
It doesn't bear thinking about.

Ginny42 Thu 08-Feb-18 08:28:56

I am beginning to wonder if it's actually possible to 'rehabilitate' someone. Anyone. Yes, their childhoods were deeply flawed but what pushed these two children to such an act? Was it learned behaviour? Had they been subjected to similar? Once the act is done, what are we, the public, wanting to happen? That they sense remorse? That they somehow go on to lead normal lives?

At the time I was teaching in a similar area in that city and when the news broke, colleagues were calling each other to speculate was it 'two of ours'? We had children at school who could have been capable of such an act.

What do we mean by 'rehabilitation' for such children if resources and staffing weren't a problem? What exactly is it? Now of course their is an added dimension to the recent imprisonment of Jon Venables. What will rehab mean for him? Do the services even know where to begin to rehabilitate someone with his past?

Ginny42 Thu 08-Feb-18 08:30:20

* there

mumofmadboys Thu 08-Feb-18 08:31:35

I agree good post, Absent. John Venables will not have had the chance to have normal sexual relationships I imagine. I am not defending downloading child porn but just making a point. Venables and Thompson didn't stand a chance from the moment they were born. Life was never going to be easy for them. I really hope Thompson manages to have some sort of peaceful existence. So sad all round. Heartbreaking.

Anniebach Thu 08-Feb-18 08:53:35

Mary Bell ?

The crime was horrific, the adults hammering on the police van taking two children to court was horrific , if they had got to the children what then?

The children were too small to see over the top of the dock .

The children must have know the hatred in the country for them, can a child not be troubled knowing when they leave their prison the press hunting them down, thugs who pass as human beings waiting to kill them . There must have been fear every time they spoke they would let their identities be known.

GracesGranMK2 Thu 08-Feb-18 08:56:56

Isn't it strange that we have so little success with rehabilitation in our society where the first instinct of many is to throw anyone, including small boys, into prison and provide very little in the way of actually returning someone to a good, healthy, normal life after illness or crime.

On the other hand it must also seem strange to the hangers and floggers who come out at times like this, that other countries where health, mental and social challenges and maintaining as normal a life as possible come first; and using the knowledge we have about how the young brain actually develops is taken into account and continuing rehabilitation is paid for, they keep the numbers in prisons down to a minimum and the crime figures are also better than ours.

It's a funny old world.

maryeliza54 Thu 08-Feb-18 09:10:10

Good post ab. I found the hatred spewed out towards these two boys incredibly upsetting at the time and it gets no better every time the case comes up. Whilst I don’t want to make it sound as though there’s a hierarchy of awfulness in the murder of children, there are many adults who have murdered children and inflicted terrible pain and suffering on them whilst so doing yet as a society we persist in treating this case as particularly heinous - because it was committed by children and people bayed and still bay for punishments for them that they would never expect adults to receive. Also re Venables, a care worker in his secure unit lost her job because she had sex with him whilst he was still resident there - yet I’ve seen this used against him when it as her behaviour was truly dreadful.

Nelliemoser Thu 08-Feb-18 09:23:40

Smileless2012 Such neglect issues are not as easily dismissed as that. The damage caused to children by neglectful and abusive parenting in the very early years is crucial. Many such feral children are seriously harmed.

Emotional and physical neglect can leave children with no or poor abililty to develop empathy in the very early years.
To say "not all neglected children go on to kill is not addressing the issue. "

A loss of a sound emotional attachment at an early age quite often causes permanent damage the child /adult can never recover from.
Physical and emotional neglect early on actually changes the development of a small child's brain and this can be seen on brain imaging.

People adopting very seriously neglected children often find that further troubles arise when they reach adolescents.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Feb-18 09:32:06

So, a three year sentence is enough?

Minerva Thu 08-Feb-18 09:58:34

For what he was charged with, and admitted to, yes. The courts can’t add on 30 years because of the dreadful crime he committed as a 10 year old, nor for previous cases of accessing child pornography. He was sentenced for possession.
Personally I would like the laws governing child abuse, child grooming, disseminating pornographic material and possession of the same doubled at least but you would have to build new prisons to accommodate offenders.

Oldwoman70 Thu 08-Feb-18 10:36:04

I would like to see the sentencing for downloading and possessing child pornography to be the same as for someone who actually abuses a child. In order for the material to be available a child had to be abused, making the downloader an accomplice.