Discovering desistance in Glasgow – a sneak preview

Evidence of everyone’s hardwork at our first discovering desistance workshop, held in Glasgow on 10 April 2012.  Thanks to everyone who contributed with so much energy, enthusiasm and commitment to do things better. It was wonderful to meet everyone and look forward to seeing you again on the 16 May.

2 thoughts on “Discovering desistance in Glasgow – a sneak preview”

  1. Thanks for sharing this material! Just two questions from the devil’s advocate:
    1) how does one teach compassion (and incidentally values, ethics, goals…). As a Uni. law prof. i am increasingly aware of my inability to do this other than by teaching them in a didactic way about human rights, values and so on. but I doubt that changes people, or does it?
    2) time for…. means money for… and where do we get it from, how do we convince politicians/reformers in a time of accute crisis to spend their money on this? Crucial question….

    Yesterday I had this amazing experience: I attended the hearings of a sentence’s implementation judge (sort of reentry court) at the Bobigny tribunal, one of the worst suburb of the Paris region (I translated simultaneously, in writing as we had to keep quiet, for an Australian PO who visits the entire world to study Drug courts and their equivalents – so anyone else who does not speak French but does want to attend , please contact me!) anyway… the sheer misery of it all would make anyone weep: the heating does not work so part of the staff was on strike in the winter…. most toilets are out of order and there was water leeking out of one of them where people were waiting for their hearings (and this has been going on for weeks), the cafeteria closed months ago so there is no place to eat for the staff, the JAP’s files are ceiling high (I’ll show you if you come over) , the JAP has to rule based on thin air as the probation service cannot or won’t (both actually) do the investigation it’s supposed to do (it both is overloased and refuses to go beyong their 9-5 schedule) and it goes on and on… Now the JAP is brilliant with offenders and tries and do her best. We saw beautiful hearings in this crammy dirty office that she was in…. my question is how do you go from there to what is written on your papers?


  2. Hi Maxine, you give an excellent overview of the JAP working in the face of adversity. The “beautiful” hearings you describe are possibly able to be described thus due to the ethos of the JAP who it appears has the compassion, ethics and values you mention at the beginning of your post. You ask ‘how do you go from there to what is written on your papers?’ Perhaps the question could be reversed i.e. how do you go from what is written on the papers to there? You mention goals but I then find myself thinking but whose goals do we focus on? I speculate on an answer to both questions lying in investing in people whose own goals are meeting the goals of the people they work with as opposed to personal advancement goals which may result in a minority being ‘cash rich’ but the majority being ‘society poorer’.


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