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Gangs, Crime and Sentencing

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If you commit the crime.....

It is a natural human trait to band together in collectives, or gangs.  It is the principle that sees us living together in family units, in towns and cities.  However, the issue is that within these communities, other gangs or sub-groups form and destroy the fabric of the communities around them.  Again, it is understandable in the psychological realm of human nature, where evolution is the answer to the problems of living in an essentially hostile environment.  However, evolution takes place over many generations.  The advent of technology has enabled the gang formation and development much more rapidly than normal evolution would normally have allowed.


The question is on how to manage and integrate the gangs, and control those whose destructive forces outweigh their value to the community.


The key issue is in recognising the value in the energy of the alternative groups within our community, and allowing them to be expressed.  This has been done in the past with organizations such as Police Citizens Youth Clubs, but these need to evolve more rapidly if they are to keep up with the trends and evolution within and by the groups.


The answer to this is to enable the development within the community of diverse interest groups, under the auspices of an organization such as or even the Police Citizens Youth group.  Funding and physical resources need to be directed to these organizations for them to evolve as rapidly as the group evolution requires.


However, there will always be people and agendas whose operating intentions are well outside the best interests of the group and community as a whole.  This is where the critical issues lie – how do we deal with rogue elements which are essentially following the human evolutionary pattern, but going further than is safe for the community as a whole.


Cancer within an organism is a parallel example, and these elements are just as dangerous within a society.  Their motivating forces may include the desire for power, arising from an inherent insecurity, the desire for money, often arising from financial or community inequality standards such as poverty or social/racial discrimination or the appearances of it.


Their methods usually include the organization of a sub-group, gang or even a sophisticated organization set up to exploit weaknesses in the society.  Those weaknesses include the desires of others for money, sex or power, or the attempts to escape from poverty, inequality, lack of identity, or forced conformity.  The vehicles can include drugs, crime of a variety of sorts, prostitution and various community or territorial control measures.


A further complication is that these groups can align themselves with other, larger groups, better resourced and with other, more destructive agendas still.  It can be that a local gang may become a local arm of a terrorist group with origins elsewhere and the only agenda in common is disruption and exploitation of the local community for their own purposes.


There are two aspects to breaking the cycle and more involved in preventing repeat offending.  The first is detection and apprehension of the offenders.  This involves a good policing force that has the respect and support of the community and the legal system, with laws that are valid and enforceable.  This force needs to be resourced to the extent that it is more than competitive with the resources of the groups or individuals it is targeting.  It needs intelligence gathering and apprehension resources, and the manpower to carry through.


However, it is possibly the second aspect that is more critical in the long run.  Once apprehended, there needs to be a system of punishment appropriate to the crime involved.  Whilst shoplifting is hardly due a life sentence, in one sense it is – once branded as a criminal, a life sentence has been imposed – it is a piece of history that can’t easily be undone.  However, on the other end of the scale, major crimes often see criminals released to the streets again far too soon for any deterrent value to have been received.  The detention centres in many places are criminal communities and often serve to foster the behavioural traits that the punishment is meant to deter.


To have an effective crime punishment system, as opposed to what currently exists in Australia, or in most other places for that matter, there needs to be some radical changes implemented.


The first one is that the detention centre needs to be isolated from the outside world, aside from humane contact.  This means that the passage of or presence of drugs or any contraband of any kinds is to be prohibited.  Currently, within our prison systems, we have prisoners of both sexes maintaining drug habits and trading drugs for profit.  Only the ignorant or those with vested interests in not acknowledging this fact would deny it, and the drug busts we see regularly in daily news media confirm it.


If the detention centre is a sealed environment, how can this happen, without corruption of the system in some way.  Technology exists to test the air for the scent of contraband, to the extent that even a drug sniffer dog would not be as effective as the electronic alternatives available.  All detention centres need to be fitted with these devices immediately.  That way, trafficking would cease immediately and the centres can become the starting point for addicts to dry out and get off their addictive substances, supported by appropriate medical and health services to detoxify their systems.


With this system in place, people leaving these detention centres after some months or years as the case may be, would be no longer subject to their addictions and would be returning to life outside free of addiction compulsions or the need to return to crime to pay for addictive behaviours.  As the detoxifying program would also include behaviour and attitudinal training and development, there is the likelihood that these people would return to become leaders and examples in their communities.


For other offenders, there is another issue, and that is genuine punishment for their crime, whatever it is.  An example is the crime of rape, where an offender, having violated the victim, forces them to relive the offence at the trial, where if convicted, they will receive a sentence AND a non-parole period which means that if they keep out of trouble in the detention centre, after a couple of years, they are out on the street.  Their victim feels that justice has not been done; they feel they have received a life sentence and the attacker only a reprimand. 


Genuine sentencing terms must be imposed and experienced, with negotiated deals not an option under any circumstances.  A sentence must be a minimum sentence, and must be carried out.  Whilst civil libertarians might complain, I refer them to the families of the victims and the victims themselves, then ask them whose rights have been violated.  At no time should the civil liberties of the perpetrator come before the civil liberties and rights of their victims.


For the specific crimes of rape and paedophilia, which have been found to be a condition of the attacker as well as the crimes inflicted on the victim, there has been no real solution or rehabilitation method found.  Perpetrators have been locked away for decades yet found to re-offend immediately on release.  It is not something that can be solved solely by detention, although for the protection of the community, that is a must.  The further step must involve castration of the offender, as well as a significant period of detention, for two reasons, firstly as a suppression of the compulsions that cause the crime within the individual, and secondly as a deterrent for would-be casual offenders or thrill-seekers, or those contemplating taking the first step towards this lifestyle. 


Upon eventual release, the person would have served a detention time out of society sufficient for them to be seen to have paid a penalty for their crime, and secondly, to enable them time to forget and move on from their previous urges and compulsions.  The detention period would also be a period of personal development, to enable them to re-enter the community in a role that is non-threatening to the community, and safe for them, avoiding community acts of retribution.  They can again become contributing members of the community in a variety of employment roles, but nowhere that they would be a danger to themselves or the community.


Again, the civil libertarians are up in arms already over the chemical castration option, so they will rail against this.  However, let them provide a viable solution to the real problem, and let’s not hear about civil liberties either, unless their victims get equal billing.


Family law is another area where some fundamental changes need to be enacted, sooner rather than later.  Relationships evolve, change and sometimes fail.  That is a fact of life.  However, in individuals who have a variety of insecurities and manic needs, those changes create violent tendencies towards their partners.  When that happens, domestic violence orders need to be immediately enforceable, rather than the toothless documents they are now.  Policing officers need the power to apprehend and detain where they believe a situation with potential for violence or demonstrated violence exists.


Where money or child support is the issue, income management by the relevant department is required, rather than legal battles where lawyers are the beneficiaries and both parties end up losing huge amounts of money without the rights of the child or the individual either actually or perceived to be served well.  Where individuals in particular hide income, or are believed to be hiding income, an automatic full audit is necessary, to ascertain the truth of the situation, again, without lawyers.  The Transaction Tax Reform would be of great benefit under these circumstances, with an additional percentage of each transaction able to be dialled into individuals in question.


Where violence is threatened or demonstrated, immediate apprehension and detention should be at the initiative of the local law enforcement officers, with perhaps only the guidance of a local specialist family law officer required for confirmation of the appropriate course of action.


Once released, there needs to be a service provided to offenders to facilitate their effective and safe return to the community and their life outside of detention.  This will work on their follow-through rehabilitation, gainful employment and community and family reintegration.  Where appropriate, apologies to victims may be required.  Education into new lifestyles and employment situations or careers may be necessary and should be provided also.


The key elements to this policy are:

  1. Acknowledging that varying behavioural traits and alternative desires and activities are common and necessary within communities.  These need to be catered for with resources and appropriate environmental guidance.
  2. Detection and apprehension of the offenders needs the full attention of a well-resourced and effective policing force, with resources that will keep pace with the evolution of their target group.
  3. Genuine sentencing relevant to the crime and appropriate rehabilitation and prevention of recurring criminal behaviour.
  4. Genuine follow-up for offenders once released from detention, by people qualified to do so, with genuine support as required.





Join Neighbourhood Watch.  Become very observant about things that happen around you, in your street, neighbourhood and community. 


Take an interest in sentencing issues in your area, use your own sense of justice to complain if you think justice has not been done.


Lobby politicians incessantly to get justice and action when necessary.


Don’t aim to be a vigilante, instead, aim to empower and enforce the relevant authorities to do the job that needs to be done, and use the law to provide justice for the victims, not leniency for the criminals.


Learn the difference between punishment and rehabilitation.  Study what crimes can or cannot be rehabilitated in the true meaning of the word.


Learn the true meaning of CIVIL LIBERTY in the community and exactly who it is meant to belong to.


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Putting the pressure on our politicians and leaders, to take the decisions that need to be taken right now, to solve the problems we have, that we already know how to solve!