Home > Column: Drug crime can’t be broken down simply into a battle of ‘good’ versus ‘evil’.

[thejournal.ie] , O'Riordain, Aodhan Column: Drug crime can’t be broken down simply into a battle of ‘good’ versus ‘evil’. (26 Jan 2014)

URL: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/drug-crime-cant-be...

The link between educational underachievement, literacy, social empowerment and a drugs and crime culture is real and also extremely complex, says Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

It may seem obvious, but the first challenge for all of us trying to tackle drug use and criminality is to care. As George Bernard Shaw said: indifference is the essence of inhumanity.

Firstly I want to plant a thought into your heads before returning to it later. Writing in the Guardian newspaper last year, the author Neil Gaiman told how he once attended a lecture organised by private prison operators in the United States. In planning for the future capacity needs in this service 15 years into the future, the prison industry employed a very simple test – the percentage of 10 and 11 year old children in any given district with acute literacy problems.

The link between educational underachievement, social empowerment and a drugs and crime culture is real and also extremely complex. There are no simple ways to describe the problem, to address it or to solve it. It is my contention that it is only a society ill at ease with itself – rife with inequalities visible and invisible, refusing to challenge or to re-invent itself – that is destined to produce a culture that is so vicious and so deadly and causes so much human hurt and suffering.

Using simplistic, evocative, exploitative or sensationalist language does not inform the discussion. In my view, it turns what is a public policy emergency into comic-book-style pseudo-entertainment.....

 

Item Type:News
Source:thejournal.ie
Date:26 January 2014
EndNote:View
Subjects:T Demographic characteristics > Adolescent / youth (teenager / young person)
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention approach > Prevention through information and education
MM-MO Crime and law > Crime prevention
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors > Risk factors

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