Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg

Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg
Justitia, Old Bridge of Heidelberg © Gernot Keller, 2007
Blinkered Justice articles also appear on CrimeTalk and Government In The Lab

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Bad person

(c) Criminonymous

In this latest piece, Criminonymous posits that any definition of 'crime' is contingent upon time and place. None of us are wholly innocent. Does imprisonment, and its associated sanctions, work?

There are people who break into other people’s homes
People who trespass on private land because they want to roam
A drunken person might steal a phone and a garden gnome
And then there’s couples whose love is a crime and a sin
People whose political views are deemed worthy of prison
People who transgress to achieve an end they were taught was legitimate
What you consider deviant depends on what you see as normal
What you see as bad depends on your experience of sorrow
The norms we adhere to shift like the continents
Our priorities change, but no one keeps on top of it
We all want safety, irrespective of our stance
But the people in the jails are mostly there by chance
We don’t fight crime; we define crime
We respond when we can, but for the majority of offences
There’s no such thing as a plan
That can effectively stem all the illicit demand
We blame cops too for the culture in which they live
Like with any gang culture, recruits may be of a certain creed
But to reintegrate, our forgiveness is what they need
Police are as manipulated as everyone else
All mental health is suspect in and of itself
People are fragile
Liable to influence by their surroundings, like the hopeless in prison
The futile stockpiling of our brothers and sisters
And when they’re out, these erstwhile exiles
No longer fit the profile of a worthwhile punt
They must be imbeciles; their values must be totally different
Can’t reconcile employment with debilitating criminal illness
Forgetting that crimes are committed by almost all of us
What if everyone was charged the first time they tried drugs?
Everyone who shoplifted, downloaded a song, sped or littered?
Caught or not, it’s the overwhelming majority
That’s the sheer insanity of the us-and-them mentality
Our primal hostility masked as higher morality
Assumptions of purity are no more than an illusion
We prescribe division like our laws were the words of a god
And to break them is to trash our religion
But if you put everyone corrupt in jail, who will be left to lock us all in?
It’s a war of attrition that we’re never going to win

(c) Criminonymous

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