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Admin2

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THE BILL OF RIGHTS
Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution

The Conventions of a number of the States having, at the time of adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added, and as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution;

Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two-thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States; all or any of which articles, when ratified by three-fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution, namely:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


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mactheknife

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He was either a man of about a hundred and fifty who was rather young for his years, or a man of about a hundred and ten who had been aged by trouble.
- - - -P.G. Wodehouse


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Hi Admin2 & mactheknife... thanks for your posts.  I found the Amendments to the Bill of Rights very interesting, and as for mactheknife's quote... very profound indeed.


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REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS ACT - EXCEPTIONS ORDER (SCOTLAND) CONSULTATION PAPER

This document is also available in pdf format (48k)

Ministerial Foreword

The Scottish Executive is committed to a safer Scotland and protecting the public, in particular the most vulnerable members of society.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) allows people, who have been convicted of an offence to "wipe the slate clean" after a specified rehabilitation period. For the purposes of employment previous (spent) convictions do not have to be declared, although there are some exceptions to this.

The ROA Exceptions Order sets out the range of posts involving a particular level of trust whereby the legal protection offered by the ROA to ex-offenders is not available. These posts include work with children, work with vulnerable adults, and employment involving the administration of justice, national security and financial services. In respect of these posts, an employer is entitled to know about all previous convictions, both spent and unspent.

We are proposing to update the Exceptions Order to ensure the order is consistent with changes to legislation in Scotland, such as the introduction of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act, and recent additions to the Exceptions Order in England and Wales. Updating the Order also gives us the opportunity to include any other occupations and offices of employment that we consider necessary.

We have outlined professions, occupations, offices of employment in the attached consultation that we think should be included in the new Exceptions Order. I hope as many of you as possible will let us know your thoughts on our proposed changes to list of exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Consultation is important on this issue to help ensure we strike the right balance between supporting the rehabilitation of offenders and protecting the public.

 

Jim Wallace
Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice
December 2002

 

 

REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS ACT - EXCEPTIONS ORDER (SCOTLAND) CONSULTATION PAPER

INTRODUCTION

  1. There are a number of exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to protect the public and, in particular, the most vulnerable members of our communities. This paper invites views on proposed changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Exceptions Order in Scotland.

    BACKGROUND

    Rehabilitation of Offenders

  2. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) aims to make life easier for many people who have been convicted of a criminal offence, served their sentence and have since lived on the right side of the law. The Act provides that anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to less than two and a half years in prison can be regarded as "rehabilitated" after a specified period with no further convictions. The rehabilitation period, which varies from six months to ten years, is set according to sentence. After the specified period the original conviction is considered to be "spent".

  3. In most circumstances, once a conviction is spent the convicted person does not have to reveal it or admit its existence. This means that if an ex-offender whose convictions are all spent is asked on an application form, or at an interview, whether he or she has a criminal record he or she is entitled to say "no". It is against the law for an employer to refuse to employ a person because he or she has a spent conviction.

  4. An effective rehabilitation scheme should protect individuals from the requirement to disclose previous convictions whenever it is safe to do so, opening up appropriate employment opportunities to those with previous convictions to help reduce the chances of re-offending.

  5. However, there are some categories of employment involving a particular level of trust to which the ROA does not apply and for the purposes of which convictions never become spent. The posts in these categories include work with children, work with vulnerable adults, and employment involving the administration of justice, national security and financial services. The various types of posts/professions which come within these categories are specified in an Exceptions Order. The current list of exceptions (that apply currently in Scotland) are shown in Annex A.

  6. The Home Office recently consulted on the recommendations made following a review of the ROA for England and Wales. The review recommended a number of changes to introduce greater clarity and fairness to the legislation, but did not recommend any changes to the scope of the Exceptions Order. The Scottish Executive will consider reform of the ROA in Scotland in due course, but any changes to the legislation in Scotland are likely to be broadly consistent with what is proposed in England and Wales and we agree that reform of the ROA should not impact significantly on the scope of the Exceptions Order.

    Disclosure Scotland

  7. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Exceptions Order plays an important role in determining the level of disclosure certificate available to employers under Part V of the Police Act 1997. Part V provides for the issue of certificates, known as Disclosures. There are 3 levels of Disclosure:

    Basic, which will show only unspent convictions. It is available to anyone for any purpose.

    Standard, which will show any spent or unspent convictions and any cautions (from England, Wales or Northern Ireland. We do not have cautions in Scotland).

    Enhanced, which will show any unspent convictions and any cautions plus any non-conviction information supplied by a Chief Constable. This would be information held as "intelligence" by the police which in the Chief Constable's opinion might be relevant to the position in question.

    The Standard and Enhanced Disclosures are available only to those being considered for positions which are excepted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

  8. Progress on this issue has been linked to the transfer of powers to Scottish Ministers to make clear it is within devolved competence to update all aspects of the Exceptions Order in Scotland. This transfer of powers is expected to be complete in February 2003.

    PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE EXCEPTIONS ORDER

  9. Generally, the Exceptions Order should only be extended where there is a clear need to provide additional protection beyond the disclosure of unspent convictions under the ROA. However, there are a number of parts of the Exceptions Order in Scotland which need updated to provide greater protection to the public, in particular vulnerable groups. We intend to introduce changes at the earliest legislative opportunity.

  10. We propose to update the Exceptions Order to:

    • extend exceptions recently introduced in England and Wales to Scotland
    • update terminology and definitions to reflect Scottish legislation, including provisions in the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 and the prospective Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003. These amendments provide greater protection to vulnerable people.
    • ensure other occupations involving a particular level of trust are added.
    • address gaps in the current schedule, for example social workers who work solely with offenders are not currently covered and persons concerned with the operation of the children’s hearing system. Also there is an ambiguity over whether students on placements as part of their studies falls under the Exceptions Order.

    1. The occupations added to the Exceptions Order for England and Wales since devolution are:-

    Professions

    Chartered psychologist
    Actuary
    Registered Foreign lawyer
    Legal Executive

    Offices, employments and work

    Any work which is —

      1. in a regulated position (a term that is defined in Part II of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 to include a wide range of positions that involve contact with children. The equivalent Scottish term will be "child care position", defined in the Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill; or

      2. in a further education institution where the normal duties of that work involve regular contact with persons aged under 18.

    Any employment in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals where the person employed or working, as part of his duties, may carry out the killing of animals

    Any office or employment in the Serious Fraud Office

    Any office or employment in the National Crime Squad or the National Criminal Intelligence Service

    Any office or employment in Her Majesty's Customs and Excise

    Any employment which is concerned with the monitoring for the purposes of child protection, of communications by means of the Internet

    Regulated occupations

    Taxi and Private Hire drivers

      • Taxi and private hire drivers may find themselves in regular unsupervised contact with children and vulnerable adults. This is particularly true of those undertaking school or hospital contract work.

      1. The recent statutory instruments in England and Wales also extended the scope of the Exceptions Order in the financial services industry, clarified the scope of the Order in relation to adoption and updated definitions of care services to reflect the Care Standards Act 2000. The Executive proposes to extend these new exceptions to Scotland, amending as appropriate the terminology. For example, the legislation in Scotland will refer to the SSPCA rather than the RSPCA. Definitions of care and adoption services will be based on Scottish legislation.

      2. The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 replaces the previous regulatory system of local authority and health board inspection teams with a new, independent regulator, the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care (the Care Commission). All the services defined in sections 2 and 8 of the Act will ultimately be required to register with the Care Commission, including local authority services. Subordinate legislation made under the Act requires that providers, managers and other staff working in care services are fit persons. One of the fitness criteria for providers and managers relates to criminal convictions. In addition, providers are only to employ persons fit to be employed in the provision of the care service. The national care standards against which the Care Commission inspect services state that criminal record checks should be obtained for all staff.

      3. The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 also establishes the Scottish Social Services Council with the duty to establish and maintain a register of social workers and of other social service workers.

      4. The Exceptions Order needs to cater for the changes effected by the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act in relation to registration, inspection and enforcement, both with regard to care services and to the social service workforce. The Order will also be updated to ensure it is consistent with the prospective Protection of Children (Scotland) Act 2003.

        Question 1: Do you agree that the recent additions to the Exceptions Order for England and Wales should be extended to Scotland (taking account of the new Scottish legislation)? If not, please explain why.

      5. We propose to make clear that those training in the field of care and health services will be included in the Exceptions Order. At present the Order only covers those working in those fields and as a result have access to vulnerable people. There is currently a lack of clarity over whether students on placements are covered by the Exceptions Order. We also intend to make clear that practitioners within the National Health Service who are contractors as distinct from employees are included.

        Question 2: Do you agree that ‘training’ should be made explicit in the definition of work in care and health services, to clarify the position of students on placements?

      6. There are references in the current Exceptions Order that apply to professions and occupations that relate to England and Wales and legislation which does not extend to Scotland. We will be updating various aspects of drafting to ensure the exceptions order accurately reflects the position in Scotland and removes references to professions and legislation which do not apply here. For example, there is no need to refer to a barrister in the Exceptions Order for Scotland.

      7. Part V of the Police Act 1997 (see paragraph 7 for background) is being amended through the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill to bring more categories of person within the scope of the Enhanced Disclosure arrangements, such as those involved in the children’s hearing system. We propose that those categories that are not already exceptions under the Exceptions Order should be made so. This will ensure that Part V of the Police Act 1997 (as amended) and the Exceptions Order are consistent.

        Additional proposals for inclusion in the Exceptions Order

      8. We propose to include the following occupations in the Exceptions Order. These are currently being considered by the Home Office for England and Wales.

        Counsellors and Psychotherapists

        The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) would like to have access to spent convictions when considering applications for membership. Counsellors and Psychotherapists by the nature of their work see both the vulnerable and young persons and they can be seen in the premises of the counsellor without anyone else being present. There is also a danger that convicted sexual offenders could apply for membership and BACP would not be in a position to check their convictions.

        Social Workers

        While most social work is already covered by the definitions of work with children and vulnerable adults we propose to specifically add social workers to the list of occupations, as there is an ambiguity over whether those social workers who work primarily with offenders is covered by the Order.

        Those applying for Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licences

        The DVLA is looking for an exception which would enable them to require a standard disclosure to accompany applications for Passenger Carrying Vehicles.

        Question 3: Do you agree that these categories should be added to the Exceptions Order?

        Question 4: Do you have any other comments or suggestions on the scope of the Exceptions Order and what should be included?

      9. Exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act should only be added where there is a clear need to provide additional protection beyond the disclosure of unspent convictions under the ROA.

        RESPONSES

      10. We welcome responses from anyone who has an interest in the issues or questions raised by this paper by 24 January 2003.

      Please send your response to:

      ROA Exceptions Order Consultation
      Criminal Justice Division
      1W Rear
      St Andrew's House
      Regent Road
      Edinburgh
      EH1 3DN

      Or e-mail to: ROAexceptions@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

      In accordance with normal practice in Scottish Executive consultations, all responses received will be made available to the public, unless confidentiality is specifically requested.

       

      ANNEX A

      The list of exceptions that apply currently in Scotland are:

      PRESENT POSITION (LIST OCCUPATIONS) OF EXCEPTIONS

      Professions

      1. Medical Practitioner

      2. Advocate, solicitor

      3. Chartered Accountant, certified accountant

      4. Dentist, dental hygienist, dental auxiliary

      5. Veterinary Surgeon

      6. Nurse, midwife

      7. Ophthalmic optician, dispensing optician

      8. Pharmaceutical chemist

      9. Registered teacher

      10. Any profession to which the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960 (a) applies and which is undertaken following registration under that Act.

      11. Registered Osteopath

      12. Registered Chiropractor

      Offices and employments

      1. Judicial Appointments

      2. The Director of Public Prosecutions and any employment in his office.

      3. Procurators Fiscal and District Court Prosecutors and any employment in the office of a Procurator Fiscal or District Court Prosecutor or in Crown Office.

      4. Justices' Clerks and their assistants.

      5. Clerks (including depute and assistant clerks) and officers of the High Court of Justiciary, the Court of Session and the district court, sheriff clerks (including sheriff clerks depute) and their clerks and assistants.

      6. Constables, persons appointed as police cadets to undergo training with a view to becoming constables and persons employed for the purposes of, or to assist the constables of, a police force established under any enactment; naval, military and air force police.

      7. Any employment which is concerned with the administration of, or is otherwise normally carried out wholly or partly within the precincts of, a prison, remand centre, detention centre, Borstal institution or young offenders institution, and members of boards of visitors appointed under section 6 of the Prison Act 1952 (b) or of visiting committees under section 7 of the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1952(c)

      8. Traffic wardens appointed under section 81 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967(a) or section 9 of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967(b).

      9. Probation officers appointed under schedule 3 to the Powers of Criminal Courts Act 1973 (c)

      10. Any employment by a local authority in connection with the provision of social services or by any other body in connection with the provision by it or similar services, being employment which is of such a kind as to enable the holder to have access to any of the following classes of person in the course of his normal duties, namely-

        1. persons over the age of 65
        2. persons suffering from serious illness or mental disorder of any description
        3. persons addicted to alcohol or drugs
        4. persons who are blind, deaf or dumb
        5. other persons who are substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity

      1. Any employment which is concerned with the provision of health services and which is of such a kind as to enable the holder to have access to persons in receipt of such services in the course of his normal duties.

      2. Any office or employment concerned with the provision to persons aged under 18 of accommodation, care, leisure and recreational facilities, schooling, social services, supervision or training, being an office or employment of such kind as to enable the holder to have access in the course of his normal duties to such persons, and any other office or employment the normal duties of which are carried out wholly or partly on the premises where such provision takes place.

      Regulated Occupations

      1. Firearms dealer

      2. Any occupation in respect of which an application to the Gaming Board for Great Britain for a licence, certificate or registration is required by or under any enactment.

      3. Director, controller or manager of an insurer.

      4. Any occupation which is concerned with-

        1. the management of a place in respect of which the approval of the Secretary of State is required by section 1 of the Abortion Act 1967 (e); or
        2. in England and Wales, carrying on a nursing home in respect of which registration is required by section 187 of the Public Health Act 1936(f) or section 14 of the Mental Health Act 1959 (a)
        3. in Scotland, carrying on a nursing home in respect of which registration is required under section 1 of the Nursing Homes Registration (Scotland) Act 1938(b) or a private hospital in respect of which registration is required under section 15 of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960(c).

      1. Any occupation which is concerned with carrying on an establishment in respect of which registration is required by section 37 of the National Assistance Act 1948(d) or section 61 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1960(e).

      2. Any occupation in respect of which the holder, as occupier of premises on which explosives are kept, is required by any Order in Council made under section 43 of the Explosives Act 1875(f) to obtain from the police or a court of summary jurisdiction a certificate as to his fitness to keep the explosives.


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      Admin2

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      Reply with quote  #50 

      ferrisconspiracy : UPDATE/ARCHIVE

       

       

      A self-proclaimed gangster and an undercover reporter who has made a speciality of exposing crime are to appear together in a debate at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

      Paul Ferris and Donal MacIntyre are to take part in a debate about the broadcasting industry's coverage of crime and whether crime and criminals are glamorised by British TV. Roger Graef, managing director at Films of Record, will chair the session.

      Mr Ferris has been the subject of of a MacIntyre documentary, Vendetta, which investigated the criminal underworld in Glasgow.

      Said Mr Ferris: "I have led a life of crime. But now I have vowed to go straight I'll not turn my back on those who still walk that walk. That's their choice, their lives. People like me who have been steeped in crime don't hate the media - as long as they tell it how it is. That was why I was happy to take part in the documentary with Donal MacIntyre. He was truthful to me and I was truthful to him."

      He continued: "What you see is how it is. What more can anyone expect? Some people support what I do, others criticise. That's everyone's right. By appearing at the International TV Festival I expect to meet both and welcome that opportunity. If I can help film makers understand how a documentary like this can be made - that will be worth it. If I can persuade more film makers to keep it real then I'll be a very happy man."

      In 1992, after the longest ever murder trial in UK history, Ferris was acquitted of the murder of the son of his former employer, the supposed ‘Godfather' of Glasgow's ganglands.

      In 1998, he was jailed for seven years for trafficking guns and explosives. Shortly before his release in 2002 he said he intended to renounce crime, and pursue a writing career that he hoped would rival that of Ian Rankin and James Ellroy.

      His first book, ‘The Ferris Conspiracy', which is based on his criminal past, has been sold to a film company resulting in a £14m movie production starring Scottish actor, Robert Carlyle.

      MacIntyre is currently a television reporter at Five. He made his reputation with his journalism and undercover reporting for the BBC's ‘MacIntyre Undercover', as well as ITV's ‘World in Action'. His recent work for Five includes the series ‘MacIntyre's Millions', in which he exposed trades in endangered animals, stolen organs and weapons in Eastern Europe and the strand ‘MacIntyre's Underworld' which included ‘Vendetta' and ‘Gangster', a 72-minute feature documentary which he directed and produced himself.

      Five has recently recommissioned further programmes for this strand. He is also a tireless campaigner for higher standards of care for the elderly and learning disabled.

      Also appearing in the debate: Anne Widecoombe MP, former Shadow Home Secretary, and John Pridmore, a 'born again gangster now anti anti-crime campaigner'.

      The Festival - sponsored by the MediaGuardian - is open to anyone working in the broadcasting industry and offers delegates a varied programme of sessions, screenings, masterclasses, interviews, keynote lectures and networking opportunities from leading UK and international media figures

       


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      Reply with quote  #51 

      Paul Ferris talks to BBC News Online
      "You'll never eradicate (police) corruption, just as you'll never eradicate crime."


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      Reply with quote  #52 

      UPDATE

       

      'Author' Ferris is write off the wall.(News)
      Source: Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
      Date: 12/18/2001

      SCOTS gangster Paul Ferris is dreaming of a new career when he gets out of jail next year - writing about crimes instead of committing them.

      The convicted gunrunner claims his book, Deadly Divisions, will be better than those by famous authors like Ian Rankin, John Grisham and James Ellroy - because he knows more about crime.

      Ferris's ghostwriter, Reg Mackay, said: "Paul doesn't like a lot of the contemporary crime fiction around.

      "He thinks some of them don't really know what they're talking about when it comes to crimes being committed.

      "He feels there's a space for fiction which gets it right in that respect.

      "When the reader reads about a robbery being committed they know with this book it's going to be accurate."


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      Reply with quote  #53 

      CAN PRISON LIFE REFORM A CRIMINAL?

      An outsider's perspective on the inside culture.

      As a child, were you bullied in school? Did those supposed "best years" of your life feel more like a living nightmare because some social predator was trying to boost his self–esteem or status at your expense? Well, imagine a school of hard knocks where almost everyone enrolled is that bully and you'll get a glimpse of what life may be like for a convict serving time in prison.

      How hardened and detached would you have to become under the constant threat of being victimised? Hard to imagine, isn't it?

      In our efforts to make society appear to work, we have to close our eyes to many contradictions, hypocrisies and outright lies.

       

      Ironically, many are found within our celebrated justice systems.

       

      Since the days of Al Capone, we've known that police forces can be as corrupt as the criminals they claim to protect the public from, often harboring drug and gun dealers, extortionists, pimps and worst of all — social bullies!

       

      We've witnessed that a trial lawyer whose primary goal is to win and make more money, will protect any known criminal from incarceration at the cost of the next victim.

       

      Another area of justice to which our eyes are closed are the prisons where convicted criminals do their "penance".

      The main reasons why criminals are sent to prison are:

      To separate the "bully" from his next victim — whether it be a robber from the jewellery store, a rapist from women, or a drug dealer from his illegally addicted customers, etc.

      As punishment and revenge for the crimes the "bully" has already committed against his victims.

      To reform or "correct" the behavior and reintegrate the "bully" back into our respectable, crime-free society.


      The first reason — to separate the criminal from his/her next victim — is the proper use of social isolation for keeping the public safe from further harm.

       

      The second, using imprisonment as a form of punishment and revenge, is both a hypocritical and misguided use of justice.

       

      Why? Because revenge turns the oppressed into the oppressor; the punisher becomes the bully — perhaps even the murderer, or an accomplice.

      The minute a criminal is locked up, society is effectively protected from him — no further action is necessary.

       

      Your taxes pay for the bars that keep him out of public life. 

       

      Ironically, people acting violently upon those very same emotions is what fills our prisons in the first place. As you can see, the world's a little confused at times.

      My greatest concern, however, is for the public's delusional ambitions that incarcerating criminals can somehow rehabilitate them; that being locked in a cage surrounded by criminals can somehow lead one to become a better person. Yet how is that possible?

      And that brings us full circle, back to the bully scenario.

       

      Imagine yourself trapped twenty four hours a day for a span of two to twenty years in a school populated only by those who have beaten, robbed, stolen, murdered or raped others out of rage, hatred and some other psychological imbalance.

       

      Add to that a world outside that fears and hates you, maybe even wants to kill you — whether it's justified or not. You have to work your way through the system (serve time) so that you can eventually graduate to being released among those who fear and hate you — or soon will, once they know you're an ex–con. Not a very inspiring homecoming, is it?

       

      Are prisons truly designed for reforming criminals?

       

      I have to wonder. They have certainly proven themselves effective in promoting the first two agendas of justice — isolation and revenge — but can such a tense, selfish, survival–based atmosphere promote a softer, more emotionally–balanced and empathetic human being upon exit? No. In fact we know that prison is where one can get an education in becoming a better criminal.

       

      How's that for an investment in our collective future?

      A big rethink must take place if the "JUDICIARY" actually intends to correct a troubled life.

       

      There has to be an influx of therapeutic culture into the prison regime. We must find methods and programs which not only heal the wounded and troubled minds of those who know not or care not for the harm they've done, but which can help them understand that crime begins with an attitude we take toward others — a conscious choice to lessen another person's importance for the sake of our own personal gain.

       

      Yet this attitude is one that even we, on the outside, have difficulty shedding.

       

      What lesson, after all, do we learn by example from our "just" multi–national corporations, who rape and pillage the land, the resources and the people of the world?

       

      Murderers don't manufacture guns and weapons of mass destruction — business men do! And what of our "just" governments who send their young men to kill foreigners in that great organised genocide we call "war" — notwithstanding the bullying we endure from taxes and repressive legislation.

      There is still so much to heal, and forgive, on both sides of the fence.

       

      USEFUL LINKS:

       

      http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk


      http://www.innocentuntilprovenguilty.com


      http://www.smartjustice.org

       


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      Magpie

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      Reply with quote  #54 

      Nice to see a Police website [run by serving Police officers] advertising Paul's books.  

       

       http://www.police999.com/modules.php?name=Amazon&asin=1845020618

       

      http://www.police999.com/index.php

       

      Can't see the same happening north of the border though, perhaps their reading The Scottish Beat Officer's Companion or The Drug Officer's Companion.

       

       

       

      Whilst having a general browse about i came across the following forum. Now i'm sure Paul has been referred to as many things, but a Librarian!     
       
      PostForum: EssexBoys   Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:32 pm   Subject: JASON VELLA

      He's an interestig guy Ferris.He looks like a librarian not a gang boss with so much respect.Did anyone see him on Macyntyre ?]
       
       
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      essex villians... new one on me. will try for it tomorrow. not too sure i want to read any more about Vella after what i,ve read so far in vendetta. put it this way... remember the greenhouse scene in the film "scum"??
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      Paul Ferris Solicitors

      Victoria House
      Newry Rd
      Banbridge
      County Down
      BT32 3HF

      Tel . 028 4062 8828
      Fax . 028 4062 8833
      Email .
      info@paulferris.com


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      Underworld king Ferris to hold court at festival

      BRIAN FERGUSON CITY COUNCIL REPORTER

      ONE of Scotland's most feared gangland figures is being given star billing in a major literary celebration in Edinburgh.

      Paul Ferris, who has become a best-selling novelist since his release from jail four years ago, has been confirmed for an appearance in next month's Festival of Scottish Writing.

       

      The Glasgow gunrunner is lined up for a talk and book-signing session just 12 months after claims that he was moving in on the Capital's taxi scene.

      The annual event is the second biggest - after the International Book Festival in Charlotte Square - to be staged in the Capital under the Unesco Edinburgh World City of Literature banner.

      Ferris will be appearing with the crime writer Reg McKay, one of the country's leading experts on gangland crime, at an event in McDonald Road library, to be hosted by former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan.

      The notorious underworld figure has twice teamed up with McKay to write books about his life, with debut The Ferris Conspiracy tipped to be turned into a major feature film starring Robert Carlyle in the title role.

      The latest book, Vendetta, which was released by Edinburgh-based Black and White Publishing, is billed as "a story of international gangsters, hit contracts, murders, bank scams, Essex-boy torturers, corrupt politics, crack-head hit-men, knife duels, securi-wars, drugs, guns, Yardies, terrorists and more".

      Publicist Gillian Mackay said: "Paul and Reg did a similar event at Borders in Glasgow last year and it was very successful, and the book was done exceptionally well since it was released."

      Labour councillor Shami Khan, a member of Lothian and Borders Police Board, said: "He's perfectly entitled to promote his book and I think there will be enough public interest in him to justify his inclusion in the programme."

      Tory group leader Iain Whyte said: "I would hope that the council is satisfied that he is no longer involved in any criminal activities and really has gone clean."

      The city council, which ploughs £5000 into the annual event, said: "Ferris exposes the brutal underworld of Britain's streets and tells more of his story 'going straight' and life after release from prison in 2002."

      The Festival of Scottish Writing, which this year runs from May 12-29, is the major literary event organised by the city council and features author readings, workshops, debates, performance poetry, storytelling and children's activities held in libraries and other venues across Edinburgh.

      Crime is a main theme of this year's festival, which also features Edinburgh author Lin Anderson, creator of the forensic scientist character Rhona MacLeod.

      And the festival will see an appearance from Allan Guthrie, the former Edinburgh bookshop assistant dubbed "the new Ian Rankin", who gave up his job after being offered a five-figure advance for a crime trilogy.

      Edinburgh's culture and leisure leader Ricky Henderson said: "The festival celebrates many of our country's contemporary writers and will hopefully provide inspiration for the next generation of Scottish talent."

      Gangland enforcer with a taste for violence

      PAUL FERRIS came to public prominence in the early 1990s, but by then he was already well-known to police.

      At 16, Ferris was a leg-man for the infamous Arthur Thompson firm, establishing himself as a fearless thief.

      His taste for violence was evident early on, but despite being linked to stabbings, slashings, blindings and knee-cappings, Ferris would always emerge relatively unscathed.

      As Glasgow's heroin market flourished in the early 1980s, the ambitious Ferris would also secretly organise his own criminal operations under the cover of apparently legitimate business interests.

      In the 1980s, he broke free of the Thompson family and became linked with Tam "The Licensee" McGraw. Their relationship broke down when Ferris accused his ally of setting him up in a drugs bust.

      Rivalry with the Thompson family peaked when Ferris was charged with killing Arthur Thompson Jnr in 1991. Ferris was cleared, but was jailed in 1998 after being found guilty of a string of charges involving the supply of weapons.


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      Notorious gangster thanks police...

      Notorious Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris today said 'thank you' to Strathclyde Police, claiming it was because of them that a film is now to be made about his life. Ferris, who was jailed for gun running eight years ago, was today back in Glasgow to meet actor Robert Carlyle, who is expected to play him in the movie.

      It has had George Clooney and Justin Timberlake through its doors, and today Paul Ferris also chose upmarket hotel One Devonshire Gardens as the venue to discuss plans for a film about his life. He also had a special message for Strathclyde Police, saying: "I would like to thank certain members of Strathclyde Police for the opportunity to enhance my particular part in life."

      Asked about the film and whether he would be involved in it, he said: "I don't know yet, I've just turned up to talk to the film crew."

      Thirteen years ago Paul Ferris was cleared of the murder of Arthur Thompson Junior, but in 1998 was found guilty of gun running at the Old Bailey. Now Robert Carlye is set to play Ferris, though the actor was today reluctant to discuss the film. Asked why he was interested in the film, he said: "There's nothing to talk about here, this is only the discussion about the potential."

      The level of media interest here today is clear evidence that Paul Ferris remains a man whom people are interested in, but many will question whether a convicted criminal should be allowed to profit from his notoriety.

      He commented: "I'm not profiting from my life of crime, I'm profiting from my lifetime's experience. If there's anything illegal regarding that, I'm sure the relevant authorities will take appropriate action."

      With Robert Carlyle in talks, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels producer Robert Vaughn having expressed interest, it seems the film will be made.

      Strathclyde Police refused to comment, but the Scottish Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said it hoped the public would ignore any film about a man whose rise to infamy was because of the pain and suffering of others.

       

      NOTE:

      Labour councillor Shami Khan, a member of Lothian and Borders Police Board, said: "He's perfectly entitled to promote his book and I think there will be enough public interest in him to justify his inclusion in the programme."

      Tory group leader Iain Whyte said: "I would hope that the council is satisfied that he is no longer involved in any criminal activities and really has gone clean."

       
      Paul Ferris iv jan 05


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      BOBBY’S BEAT

      From his iconic portrayal as Begbie in Trainspotting to his latest role as an IRA man adapting to peace in The Mighty Celt, Robert Carlyle is renowned for playing hard men. Now 44, with two young children, he talks to Alastair McKay about reconciliation, real-life heroes and meeting with Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris

      There are two Hitlers in The Mighty Celt. There is Robert Carlyle, who played §the Nazi leader in the TV movie, Hitler: The Rise Of Evil, and there is Ken Stott, who essayed him in the ITV drama, Uncle Adolf.

      This profusion of Führers probably says something about the typecasting of Scottish actors but it also illustrates Carlyle’s versatility. Stott has settled into his Grumpy Old Men persona, dispensing curmudgeonly asides from a face that would be shattered by a smile.

      Carlyle can do hard (see Begbie in Trainspotting) but is just as likely to be found trading in vulnerability. He was the gay lover of a priest in Jimmy McGovern and Antonia Bird’s Priest, an unlikely stripper in The Full Monty and a dope-smoking polis in Hamish Macbeth, the Scottish Northern Exposure.

      In his new film, The Mighty Celt, he blurs the lines again, playing an IRA man returning home after the ceasefire, trying to adapt to peace. (Stott is the man from the Real IRA).

      Naturally, the two Hitlers met on the set. “It was so weird,” Carlyle recalls. “Ken said: ‘I, eh, didn’t see your Hitler.’ I said: ‘I didn’t f**kin’ see yours either’.” Carlyle pulls himself up as if reacquainting himself with a bad memory. “I can’t watch it. There’s no way. I can’t look at anything to do with the guy. I can’t even think about Hitler. Don’t want to think about it. It cost me a lot of grief, in my mind, trying to get to some kind of reality in my portrayal of this f**king monster.”

      Often, when people talk to Robert Carlyle about acting, they mention Robert De Niro and the madness of his Method. It’s a tempting comparison and it works, up to a point. When De Niro was researching Travis Bickle for Taxi Driver, he drove a cab around New York. When Carlyle was playing the Bickle-like Albie in Cracker, he spoke in a Scouse accent for three months. De Niro ate his way into the role of a flabby boxer in Raging Bull. Carlyle slept rough to understand a homeless person in Safe.

      These days, De Niro operates at reduced intensity, spoofing himself in films such as the cartoon Shark Tale, which redefined the notion of “sleeping with the fishes”. Carlyle, while reluctant to class himself as an actor on a par with either, prefers the trajectory of De Niro’s Mean Streets co-star Harvey Keitel.

      “Anybody who has any urge to slag De Niro off, you have to look at what he’s done, and he’s given everything. He’s in a different world now. But I think it’s hard for him. Like Keitel, you’ve always got to look for the interesting stuff, and try and find a world that you haven’t visited before. That’s the only chance.”

      Carlyle took a chance on The Mighty Celt, working with a first-time director, Pearse Elliott. “That, for me, is a gamble. I don’t know if this guy can do it or not. I believe through talking to him that he can but that’s not always the case. But Keitel does that. He still goes and seeks out the dark, interesting stuff.”

      To understand how he got here, you have to appreciate where Robert Carlyle came from. Sometimes, when he talks about the challenges of acting – something he is loath to do because it can sound, in his word, “wank” – he will edge towards acknowledging his own surprise at his circumstances. The challenge of playing Hitler, for example, was to convince the audience that they were not watching “a wee ex-painter from Maryhill”.

      Carlyle believes he is the same person he was when he started out (“I haven’t gone funny”) but he is conscious that standing still is not an option. “I’m becoming aware that the generational thing comes about and suddenly you’re like the remnant of another decade.” He offers a small sigh. “So what do you do? Do you change who you are? Do you change your perception of the business, and how you approach it, or do you just keep going the same way? There’s no decision to make there, really.”

      But some things have changed. It’s odd to observe the transformation in Carlyle’s features when he talks about his family. He has two children with his wife, Anastasia; Harvey (17 months) and Ava, who was three on the fourth of July. For all that he tries to keep his home life private, he can’t suppress the delight he finds in his children. “Mid-40s, this is just a wonderful thing to happen, and you realise that there’s other things. It’s a great leveller. It calms you down. It gives you more focus in your life. You’ve got to prepare this wee person for the world. What a phenomenal challenge that is. There’s no bigger task. It’s an awful world we live in. But the children have given me hope. I love them so much. It’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me, for sure. I’m less selfish now.”

      Carlyle’s character in The Mighty Celt, is a man abandoning the hard certainties of youth for the compromises and rewards of family life. “That type of subject’s speaking to me, louder than it ever has before. It’s about reconciliation and forgiveness.”

      He recognised the film’s theme of sectarianism from his childhood – albeit from the non-aligned position of the Partick Thistle supporter. Glasgow, he says, operated as a kind of shadow of Belfast. “It’s a subject that was close to my heart, and anything you can do to say ‘this is wrong, forget this’ is a good thing. Mighty Celt is one of these rare projects that is worthy – really worthy – to be seen now and into the future.”

      Since he turned 40 four years ago, Carlyle has been thinking about his legacy. He made some odd moves in the middle of his career. The big-budget pictures – Angela’s Ashes, The World Is Not Enough, 51st State – were his least compelling. Subsequently, he has been careful with his choices.

      All of which made it surprising to read he had agreed to play the lead in a biopic about Paul Ferris, the real-life Glasgow gangster. But is it true? According to those reports, filming of The Ferris Conspiracy was due to start this month.

      Not so. What is true is that Carlyle met Ferris at a Glasgow hotel in January, and found himself in the middle of “a media scrum of madness”.

      “I turned up at the hotel; a scrum of journalists outside, even television – Scotland Today and Reporting Scotland. You can imagine how I felt – what the f**k? I met with Paul Ferris. A very personable guy and he certainly had a lot to say. The only thing I would say is that, should a script come, I will certainly read it and take it on its merits. But it’s not something I’ve been desperate to play.

      “I think it’s ideal for the press in Scotland, that kind of thing, with my previous incarnations – Begbie, characters like that – they think, ‘That’s my headline made: ‘Psycho Carlyle plays the Psycho’. Well, wait a minute. Let’s see what it’s about first. This isn’t about the glorification of violence or gangsters. If it is, I’m out the door. I’m trying to think of it as a social piece – how it’s affected him, how his life has affected other people. If it’s like that – if it’s Mighty Celt-esque – then it’s interesting. If it’s just a biopic about carving up this or that person, then it’s not really very interesting.”

      I tell Carlyle that, by an unfortunate piece of timing, I saw the bodies of Ferris’s associates, Joe ‘Bananas’ Hanlon and Bobby Glover, on the slab in the Glasgow mortuary, and there was nothing glamorous about it.

      He sighs. “I’ve known a lot of people in that world and, to be fair to them, it’s about their own. You and me aren’t part of it. We’re not involved. We’re innocents to them. They’ve got no interest in harming you or me.

      “They will kill each other, for territory or for whatever it is that they want, but it’s a private matter. I think they would be appalled if people thought they were monsters. ‘What do you mean,’ you know, ‘I only killed that c**t who killed my brother-in-law’.”

      The Ferris story does seem a risky move for Carlyle, though it could be argued it is consistent with his interest in reconciliation.

      “If I thought it was going to hurt any innocent person that had been affected by anything contained in that script, then I wouldn’t touch it. It’s not worth it at all. I’m good at spotting lies; I’ll be able to spot that. No way is it a done deal. There’s a salacious quality to these kinds of stories but I’m beginning to get less attracted to the cut and thrust of it. I’ve done a lot of it. I’ve explored these characters. I’ve been down that road. I know I’ll f**king probably do them again but it isn’t what I’m about.”

      To get a sense of what Carlyle is about, you have to go right back to the start. Famously, he took up acting after buying a copy of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the change from a book token he got for his 21st birthday. He started acting at Glasgow Arts Centre and endured an unhappy time at the city’s RSAMD.

      Carlyle’s beef with the drama school was that their methods were irrelevant and – paraphrasing slightly – pompously middle class. The insistence on pupils learning Standard English was a fundamental point of disagreement. Carlyle (professional motto: “Be who you are”) insists that Talking Proper introduces artifice into an actor’s performance.

      “If you’re speaking Standard English, you can’t help but raise yourself up a little bit. Especially if you are an actor, because” – he slips into Donald Sinden-ese – “you are talking like that. You become very, very posh. And some of these boys are from Castlemilk. My argument is that this is irrelevant to them. If you’ve got any chance of achieving anything, you have to achieve it as you are, because you’re going to get found out.”

      By the time he left drama school, Carlyle had discovered others who shared his world view. He was a founder of Raindog, the theatre group which developed a good reputation for its re-interpretations of modern work. “It’s only afterwards you realise that was an interesting period. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, for example: I directed this piece and transposed everything into Glasgow.

      “The big Native American Indian became a Western Highlander. The fishing industry – dead – seemed to fit. We did this piece and it was very successful, people seemed to enjoy it. Then other theatre companies started to take David Mamet plays and do them.

      “I’m not saying we started that but we were certainly a catalyst. We started to break down these barriers of voice and stuff like that, and think: these people are talking about things we understand. Just because they’re speaking in an American accent doesn’t mean to say it hasn’t got any relevance to us. We did Conquest Of The South Pole, written in German and set in Hamburg. It was an interesting time in theatre.”

      Carlyle’s film career was launched in 1990 by his association with Ken Loach, who cast him in Riff-Raff: “I’d done some small parts in films prior to Riff-Raff – cough and a spit type stuff – but I had no sense of the industry. When I worked with Ken, I thought, ‘This must be how it is, this is great’. F**k me: only one time since then, which was Carla’s Song, did I experience that again.

      “But it enabled me to work with people like Antonia Bird and Danny Boyle, Peter Cattaneo and Michael Winterbottom. People who were disciples of the Loach school. They’re the people who would go and watch Loach films, and say, ‘Oh, this actor’s interesting, I’ll work with him’. Without Ken Loach I don’t think I would be anywhere at all.”

      Carlyle suggests that his favourite of his own films may be Winterbottom’s Go Now, in which he played a man afflicted by multiple sclerosis. Winterbottom was the first director with the guts to tell him to turn down his performance: “I can shout and scream but there’s a silence, a stillness, which I first learned with Michael.”

      His future plans include The Meat Trade, in which he will star alongside Colin Firth. It is a modern reworking of Jekyll And Hyde, written by Irvine Welsh, and will be produced by 4 Way Pictures, the production company in which Carlyle and Welsh are partnered by Antonia Bird and critic/filmmaker Mark Cousins. 4 Way’s most ambitious project, the ‘Scottish Western’ Jamie MacGillivray, may yet be revived by the director John Sayles. Cousins describes Sayles’s script as “the best screenplay about Scotland I’ve ever read”.

      Carlyle also hopes to work alongside his hero, Harvey Keitel, on Abel Ferrara’s Go Go Tales, which takes place inside a strip joint. “It’s a very dark thing – big holes in it for the improvisation. But, man, I’d cut my arm off to work with these people.” Being offered the chance to work with Keitel was, he says, “a marker”.

      If the clock was stopped, and Carlyle was forced to come to a conclusion about his legacy, he would concede the film he is most identified with is Trainspotting (1996). “It almost defines a time in people’s lives. That’s what they say to me – they remember what they were wearing when it came out, and what music they were listening to.”

      He thinks it is exactly the kind of film at which British filmmakers excel. “It was full of attack and bite and dynamism.” He is aware, too, that fans of the film would love to see him reprise his role as Begbie. “I wish, and a few of us wish. A couple of us don’t wish, and that’s the problem. Work that one out.”

      This sounds like a reference to Ewan McGregor, who fell out with director Danny Boyle when he cast Leonardo DiCaprio, and not McGregor, in The Beach.

      “I didn’t say that.”

      But if I did?

      “If you did, you would be perfectly entitled to your opinion. I think it’s there to be done. The piece is there. It’s ready to be devoured. I would play the part again, because I think Begbie’s an interesting character in terms of the Scottish psyche. He’s a caricature. It’s like trying to turn that thing in on itself. That was what I was trying to do with that part – trying to make him so big it was ridiculous: that hard man thing.

      “There’s a journey to go on with Begbie. I think we should visit the guy and see where he is now.”

       

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      EXCLUSIVE

       

      The proposed movie of Paul Ferris, starring Robert Carlyle, was hit by several setbacks.  The most important setback was that Strathclyde Police would block any application for permission to film in and around the Glasgow area, for the location of the movie.

       

      However, it seems that Taggart (there's bin a murder) TV Series, permission to film in and around the Glasgow area remains unchallenged, especially in the Salt Market area of Glasgow (Paddy's Market or Fish Place).

       

      Taggart is a well documented fictional dramatisation of a seasoned Strathclyde Police Detective.

       

      Whereas the proposed movie, The Ferris Conspiracy, is a factual based account on the best-selling book, The Ferris Conspiracy, and was wholly unpalatable to the current regime within Strathclyde Police.

       

      The movie has been postponed due to the outcry of the Police and several members of the Executive who do not want the public to see facts instead of fiction.

       

      Taggart is safe, The Ferris movie is not so safe.  As you know, there is a vast gulf between fact and fiction.  Watch this space....

       

      It was intended that The Ferris movie would be shot (no pun intended) in the Glasgow area where all the central characters including Paul Ferris amongst others would feature.

       

      Although there are several contencious obstacles in the way to progress with the filming of the Ferris story, it was intended that it should be shot in Glasgow and indeed, is worthy of a Scottish public concern issue.

       

      Strathclyde Police have refused to comment with regards to filming permits being granted for the Ferris movie, but however, all faithful followers of the Taggart series need not worry.

       

      Some may say, let's not let facts get in the way of a good fictional tale, hence the Taggart series continues, whilst The Ferris movie has been setback by Strathclyde Police.  WHY?


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