I love it when someone tells that you “don’t need four years of University to figure out how law works” or, “Yea, I got it figured out, I don’t need your help, we don’t need all that complicated stuff.” Even more so, are the people who base their entire state of reasoning on a belief or, what they heard from a political ad – these are my favourites.
The reason why I am writing this out today is because I was ask to fill in at one of the halfway houses in the lower mainland. (I am withholding the name of the facility for obvious reasons.) I was given the opportunity only because of my qualifications and merits, e.g., education, experience and *gender. This did not sit well some of the other staff members who have worked at the facility for a number of years. They complained to their duty officer as I walked in and started working.
The issue is that the government as placed very high standards on who is responsible for inmates at correction facilities, and those standards are set very high. Entry level positions are almost impossible for someone who is walking in off of the street with no formal education, training and security clearance. Getting into the higher, more specialized positions requires years of formal education and training, as in my case, even before you can have face to face contact with inmates at this level.
The fill-in duties that I did were assisting with counselling, and providing support and evaluations, for a program that deals with high-risk offenders. Believe me, you cannot just walk in from off of the street and start this job. My six years in University just only begins to cover what I needed as far as knowledge, experience and my background when dealing with the array of situations that go on from one minute to the next in this facility. I was on my toes for the whole entire time. Fortunately it is mostly routine, well for me, as most of what needed to be done is highly formalized and laid out in regulation and policy.
To the armchair academic, I pointed out that is it a criminal offence to fake your credentials in positions that are appointed under law that carry out legal and public functions under law for the public good and service. If a position says that you must have formal education to perform these duties, then a process of checks and balances are undertaken to make sure that you are qualified and meet the requirements for that position. The reasoning for having all of this formal education, as I mentioned previously, is to become qualified in accordance to standards set out by its administrators. It is they who set the benchmark for duties performed, not collective of the labourers who set out with their daily duties and functions. If a person wishes to embark into the upper echelon of employment, then that person must pay the price (both in time and money, and pass the exams) to advance them self up into it.
*it is difficult, but not impossible, for women to work in all male persons as there are some duties that prohibit women from performing.
Tom, very soon to be B.A. in Criminology.