In life there are moments that make us feel bad, others make us proud and others take us round bends we can never turn back. These moments don’t only determine our personalities but they shape our futures too. Then there’s a feeling;- that awkward feeling you get when you move into a noisy room and it becomes dead silent. That was the feeling Johnny had as he moved in to the courtroom hands in cuffs and flanked by prison wardens. His presence seemed to instill disdain in the hearts of everyone present in the room but for his mother. How the woman loved him. She had been weeping and had reached for the loose end of her loin to wipe the tears from her eyes as Johnny came into the courtroom. He had witnessed this seen for months now and was almost getting used to it. Every time he entered the courtroom or stood up to speak, she would burst into sobs.
Crying they say would not solve a problem but it sure reduces your grief. Johnny’s mother was very grieving. Grieving because she was on the verge of losing her only son. Yes she was a single mother, but that didn’t mean she didn’t take proper care of her son. She did but he chose his path. She had put in the best she could in his upbringing but what had he to show for it? a shaved head, a jail jumpsuit and a pair of tightly fitted handcuffs. Then a demanding lawyer. A lawyer whose charge for handling the case had squandered all the money she had saved for her boy’s university education and still no success on the case was insight. She heaved a heavy sigh and turned her face away from her son.
Children from broken homes are nine times more likely to commit crimes than those from stable families; -Iain Duncan Smith
As he walked into the courtroom, Johnny noticed just a few strange faces. The others were familiar to him. They were the legal scientists that would go to any length and depth just to prove a point, regardless of how it affected the lives of their lab rats like him. Then there was the judge. The one who decided on whose experiment had been most successful. He wasn’t blaming them for the crimes he had committed, he was angry at their reactions. Even if he deserved no mercy, he deserved a humane treatment. He felt bad How could it take a bunch of men who say they are intelligent over a year just to tell you how long you are to spend behind bars? He knew he was a disappointment to his mother and his community but the delays were not helping anything.
As is court custom, everyone stood up as the Chief judge walked in. It happens daily in court. For the judges, the lawyers, the court clerks and all other court personnel, they were starting a day at work like every other. It was their job. To Johnny, it wasn’t a day like every other, it was the big day. The day the verdict was to be given. His thought of his tiny jail cell, the jail gangs and bullies, the fights and rules. It all flashed back in mind like a movie – his movie. He put his face in his hands and managed to hold back his tears as he sat in the dock waiting for the session to begin.
The number of under 18s convicted or cautioned over violent offences rose from 17,590 to 24,102 - an increase of 37 per cent as of 2008. A lot of these youths come from broken homes or homes with single parents. Conflict resolution and violence prevention curriculums that provide youth with the awareness that their actions have consequences could help (middle earth blog). Be part of the solution today.