I really wish I could talk about some of the cases that I handle.
My clients range from the affluent to the homeless. From the very intelligent to the severely developmentally disabled. From the beautiful to the disfigured.
They are all there. Looking to me for a little help.
And sometimes, just sometimes, I really can help. Not just with a lower sentence but with putting them on a new path. A path that does not include the criminal justice system. A path where I will never see them again.
But that is getting harder and harder to do. The more legislation that occurs to keep society "safe" means fewer and fewer community programs. Fewer and fewer rehab centers. Fewer and fewer centers that will deal with mental health issues or developmental problems.
I am increasingly frustrated that this additional legislation is based on fear. Pure, simple fear. With no basis in fact. I stood up when the latest restrictions on sex offenders was enacted. I wrote a piece for the local paper on the costly and damaging effects the legislation would have.
The piece was cut to ribbons and made no sense.
I had tried to say that there is a HUGE difference between a sex offender and a child molester. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. They should not be treated the same. But they are.
Lifetime registration for all. No matter what the behaviour and no matter when it occurred.
This is not the time and the place for me to go into it all. It would take hours.
But it frustrates me. And it makes me angry that people aren't given the chance to turn their lives around. Many from the age of 18 or 19.
And then there are the mentally ill.
I think I will save that for another day.
Thanks for listening.