Violent kids.

Five Live this morning is concentrating on how to cure violent youth, young men who desire to injure others.

Contributors like the idea of prison and I expect to hear national service mentioned in a few minutes. “Break ’em down” I hear on the radio, tho how abt a little nurturing thrown in too?

What no-one has mentioned is how badly developed, planned and designed are so many areas where these poor kids live. There’s no factories to soak up excess labour, the march of time has eradicated vast numbers of manual trades – something that developed a mans self respect. Young people never get a chance to work with people of other age groups. Being big among yer mates would only look foolish among mature men.

None of these hotheads EVER get involved in hard physical work, I think there lies the answer. Not boot camp, something more constructive.  Prison is the academy of thieves and druggies and is certainly NOT the solution.

I don’t know any answers, maybe agricultural work as it was practiced a hundred years ago. As with the use of horses for shell shocked first world war men, this might be the only way to get through to them.

Considering the cost of dealing with some of these hot heads already, an agricultural unit (organic veg and fruit) would even have a tangible end product. Realising some of the dire home environments these kids come from they would want to stay on forever  –  and why not. Establish communities away from the sickliness of the urban environment. Even the modest allotment is being pushed aside, something that should be reversed. Perhaps if a Dad had a garden it might have a benificial influence earlier in life. So much ineffectual tweaking goes on by government and ‘experts’ yet I wonder if we are any better as a society? 

Perhaps a chance to give them a year in a survival atmosphere, experience the seasons, to make things as survival and get ‘basic’. Then perhaps move on to a more controlled production unit for agriculture/horticulture. Sounds barmy, but its about getting ‘connected’ again to basic things and away from the synthetic crap that crowds their previously futile nowhere lives. With the march of technology and the advances of the modern world we have lost contact with the earth – something that we have known since we crawled out of the swamp. I believe we are disconnected from something fundamental to our being. These poor kids need the reconnection. We need to re-think how a life is to be lived. The baby has been thrown out with the bathwater.

As you can see all these suggestions are merely a mirror of how I feel about life. I can only write from experience.

Never forget how crappy the home lives of these kids are, how unconnected from fundamental human activities.

Also, its important to consider the calibre of the people that will deal with them. We would need real people, people of integrity and strong moral fibre, with character and strength developed through adversity – well that puts 95% of university graduates out of the running straight away….perhaps these people no longer exist.

 A big subject I would like to develop.

Comments please.

As a postscript two days later: It suddenly dawned on me that Approved School, Borstal, Outward Bound filled the role that I describe. Where are these beloved institutions nowadays?

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2 Responses to “Violent kids.”

  1. kathz Says:

    I once found myself travelling on a train with a woman who worked with difficult and criminal teenagers. I asked her what she thought about the question and she said that, though nobody would admit it, most grew out of the violent stage and simply settled down. Of course, that wouldn’t be a politically helpful admission.

    Certainly a lot of teenagers come from difficult backgrounds (though not all become violent) and some feel the effects of poverty very strongly in a society where wealth is ostentatious and many rich people (including rich teenagers) despise those who are poorer. Certainly helping the kids get away from bad circumstances is vital – and for some (not all) work on the land might help. Others may have different undeveloped skills. But there should be more opportunities for all and an end to the current elevation of consumer goods.

  2. kllrchrd Says:

    Yes, toil in the fields only if it is appropriate to the individual. I can only suggest what keeps me sane.
    With my limited experience I have thought about this a lot. I suppose what I’m asking is only what should have been priovided at school anyway. No kids here so I can only pontificate.
    Pre-television meant consumerism wasn’t thrust in their faces, I suppose we are paying the price for that. I agree wholeheartedly on the pitiful elevation of consumer goods. All our electrical gear, tv, cd is what other people have given us, I suppose that makes me a well known needy case!

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