Week 4 Reflection

Week 4 was quite an eye-opening week for me.

The highlights would have had to of been going to court. Even though going to court doesn’t sound the very “positive”, it was more of an eye-opener. We got to see what real cases were like. My group went into only two cases, but it was still enough to understand somethings, for example I thought the judges wouldn’t be as sympathetic or as down to earth as they were, but that is probably just a misconception from tv shows and movies.

I also went to Old Melbourne Gaol, which brought up a lot of ethical dilemmas, which made me think that justice is very strongly tied to ethics. We also spoke to a jail guard and we found out, that the goal of jails haven’t changed at all, just the way they go about it.

The lowlight of the week would probably have also been going to court, because it didn’t feel very appropriate going into people’s cases, which must to have been quite personal for them. I’m not quite sure how I would feel if a group of teenagers just walked into my case, I’d probably feel like I’m some kind of public amusement.

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One thought on “Week 4 Reflection

  1. Hi David,

    You have touched on the ethical dilemma that I grapple with every term when I arrange the visit to court… I used to work as a support worker / case manager for people who often found themselves in court. My job was to provide advocacy and personal support to them. I often became quite protective of them as they got ready to front up before the court, and was acutely aware of how distressed and vulnerable they felt. So I hear you in terms of wondering if they feel like they are on display for school students’ amusement.

    On the other hand – it is a testament to our justice system that students are allowed in court – in fact – anyone can sit in and witness justice in action. The transparency of the justice system is very important – that is one of the ways in which it is upheld.

    In terms of the relevance of jails as a method of reducing recidivism [re-offending] and protecting the public, Sweden has taken a very different approach and seems to be benefiting from it: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/01/why-sweden-closing-prisons

    Tamar

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