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Wheels of Justice

By 10 June 2014 11

justice

You know the old saying, justice delayed is justice denied. Yeah well, this saying is most often only applied to those accused and before the courts. Poor buggers have to wait interminably for a Judicial Officer to determine their financial imposition or their next place of abode. And it is true that the longer this process takes the longer the pain of anticipation for those before the court.

This pain of anticipation is also acutely affecting the victims. Let’s say that in the case of an assault, the person assaulted is denied, through the passage of time, a timely expression of regret from society that they were not protected. This expression of regret is the sentence the perpetrator cops.

But there is another set of victims, the tertiary victims of a crime. The first being, in our example, the person assaulted, the secondary being the family of the primary victim and any witnesses to the assault. The tertiary victims are the families of the perpetrator, who in many cases, are unaware that a crime has been committed. This is usually in the case of child molesters.

If justice is meted out quickly, the primary victim gets satisfaction and sometimes compensation; the secondary victims get a sense of closure and in some cases also receive compensation. But the tertiary victims get nothing. Oh, actually they get blamed, ostracised, suffer financial hardship and often in the case of children, psychological crisis. These families often disintegrate.

We have, in Australia, many programs to rehabilitate and restore offenders, programs and victim compensation schemes for those affected directly and negatively by a crime. But apart from some non-government organisations, we have precious little to support and help those families of perpetrators.

A true example was of a family of a child molester in this city of ours, whose family was unaware of his activities. It was a single income family. When the police knocked and dragged him away, the family was made aware of the crimes and went into immediate crisis. They had no income, the children were afraid to go to school as some of the victims were from that school, the wife was in shock and had no family here to turn to other than a parent. Fortunately, she was a strong woman and managed to get some way through it. How I don’t know.

We should all stop and think awhile about the hidden victims of crime.

They often pay a bigger price then we know.

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11 Responses to
Wheels of Justice
Gershwin 2:08 pm
10 Jun 14
#1

…I’m sorry, was there a point to that?

For an ex-politician, one would have thought you would have some idea how to frame an argument. Or an opinion. Or whatever that was, becuase frankly I don’t know what you wanted the reader to take away from it apart from a general feeling of partial sympathy for people they don’t know and can do nothing for anyway.

Smithers 2:09 pm
10 Jun 14
#2

Nice post. Though there is a place for slow and steady. I think where serious crimes are factors, speedy outcomes might not suit everyone. And being that fairness to all parties needs to be ensured, someone on trial for a complex matter might have a the opposite view. Giving some comfort to those grieving ect is one consideration, among many in the administration of justice. The overall outcome is one that is the best for all.

bundah 3:55 pm
10 Jun 14
#3

Gershwin said :

…I’m sorry, was there a point to that?

For an ex-politician, one would have thought you would have some idea how to frame an argument. Or an opinion. Or whatever that was, becuase frankly I don’t know what you wanted the reader to take away from it apart from a general feeling of partial sympathy for people they don’t know and can do nothing for anyway.

I agree with your appraisal and had John Hargreaves offered some solution to the issues that victims face through, in most cases, no fault of their own then the post would’ve had greater value.

Most of us who are aware of the deficiencies in our justice system want an appropriate solution which will resolve the unacceptable delays. The problem is that our AG Corbell has argued that the justice system is not efficient enough and that it’s not appropriate to allocate more money to increase resources particularly as there’s a finite amount in the budget. So I would suggest given those scenarios we’re buggered.

Masquara 6:37 pm
10 Jun 14
#4

johnhargreaves.blogspot.com is available, John … just sayin’!

Holden Caulfield 9:20 am
11 Jun 14
#5

“They often pay a bigger price then we know.”

Then we know what?

John Hargreaves Ex M 1:47 pm
12 Jun 14
#6

Holden Caulfield said :

“They often pay a bigger price then we know.”

Then we know what?

Can I reply to you and to Gershwin and bundah at the same time please? I said that they (the families of offenders) pay a bigger price than we know, because society often just thinks that these folks don’t exist and thus don’t think about their plight, attribute guilt by association and have little sympathy, or that they are looked after by the Gumment.

In fact their lives are often ruined, through no fault of their own. My aim was to start the conversation about their plight to gauge what rioters might think. The paucity of responders says volumes to me.

I was not about putting forth an academic argument but to relay some of my thoughts on the issue. But there are always going to be people who want to trash me and not to actually look at what is being said.

If folks are at all interested in this unfortunate side of the justice system, they could look up the report from the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity (which I chaired) in 2004, entitled Forgotten Victims of Crime: Families of Offenders and their silent Sentences.

It is available on the ACT Legislative Assembly website under Committees from Past Assemblies.

justin heywood 3:05 pm
12 Jun 14
#7

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

…..My aim was to start the conversation about their plight to gauge what rioters might think. The paucity of responders says volumes to me.

The lack of response says ‘volumes’ to you John? Can you be more specific about exactly what it says to you?

Perhaps you expected ‘rioters’ to fall in behind you and slap you on the back for your keyboard compassion.

If you took some other meaning from the lack of response; my apologies, but please enlighten us.

bundah 5:19 pm
12 Jun 14
#8

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

Holden Caulfield said :

“They often pay a bigger price then we know.”

Then we know what?

Can I reply to you and to Gershwin and bundah at the same time please? I said that they (the families of offenders) pay a bigger price than we know, because society often just thinks that these folks don’t exist and thus don’t think about their plight, attribute guilt by association and have little sympathy, or that they are looked after by the Gumment.

In fact their lives are often ruined, through no fault of their own. My aim was to start the conversation about their plight to gauge what rioters might think. The paucity of responders says volumes to me.

I was not about putting forth an academic argument but to relay some of my thoughts on the issue.

But there are always going to be people who want to trash me and not to actually look at what is being said.

If folks are at all interested in this unfortunate side of the justice system, they could look up the report from the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity (which I chaired) in 2004, entitled Forgotten Victims of Crime: Families of Offenders and their silent Sentences.

It is available on the ACT Legislative Assembly website under Committees from Past Assemblies.

There’s quite a bit of reading involved so I would simply say that if society wants to get serious about tackling the ugliness that many are subjected to then there is really only one solution ie. a massive increase in resources including education, social services, judicial officers, more appropriate sentencing etc.

In relation to child sexual abuse, stats suggest that only one out of every hundred are exposed and prosecuted for their appalling behaviour. By my reckoning that’s a massive fail so to reiterate without massive additional resources the status quo remains.

Masquara 6:39 pm
12 Jun 14
#9

I think all we can say about this is that the perpetrators should think twice.

milkman 6:41 pm
12 Jun 14
#10

justin heywood said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

…..My aim was to start the conversation about their plight to gauge what rioters might think. The paucity of responders says volumes to me.

The lack of response says ‘volumes’ to you John? Can you be more specific about exactly what it says to you?

Perhaps you expected ‘rioters’ to fall in behind you and slap you on the back for your keyboard compassion.

If you took some other meaning from the lack of response; my apologies, but please enlighten us.

This topic has been done to death over the years. Victims are an afterthought, at least based on the outcomes of most court proceedings.

It’s a nice thought that we put them first, but I don’t see any of our current pollies doing anything about it despite clear community support for such action.

gooterz 10:52 pm
12 Jun 14
#11

makes you wonder when the queue of cases increases faster than they can be seen too what happens to the quality of the cases, if the quality of the work stayed the same the waiting time would increase exponentially.

The other victims are the unjustly accused, those whom get treated as the guilty until they are proven innocent. How many defendants have already done months/years of time behind bars before being released after being found not guilty. There’s no support for them, much harder done by than the victims family.

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