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INTO THE DARKLANDS AND BEYOND - Nigel Latta
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Into the Darklands and Beyond
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Why are sex offenders and murderers the way they are? Can they change? And how can we protect our families? Forensic scientist Nigel Latta has spent a large part of his working life trying to answer these questions. In the first two editions of <em>Into the Darklands</em>, he took us into the minds of some of the most chilling characters to walk our streets as he attempted to help them confront the tragic consequences of their crimes.
Nigel Latta did a session at the Crime & Justice Festival earlier this year, that to be brutally honest, we all ended up attending more by good luck than our own good judgement (the session we'd booked was cancelled) so we switched. I can't remember the last time I felt so lucky to switch to a session about subject matter that so isn't something you want to think about. Not only does Nigel Latta make you think - he makes you laugh - he makes you squirm uncomfortably - he makes you just a bit weepy at points. Mostly he makes you glad that there are people like him doing the things that people like us should never expect him to have to do.
The book (and his session) talked about coming face to face with some pretty revolting offenders. His role is to either counsel some of these people - or to assist in evaluating them - or simply to try to work out if they are an ongoing danger to society. Not the sort of job that you'd immediately think of when toying with a careers options list. But he tells how he was convinced to follow this path by a seminar run to confront offenders with the results of their actions. INTO THE DARKLANDS takes you into exactly that - the darklands of offending, of some pretty horrific offending, and how people who do what they do, think, feel (or don't) and what can (or can't) be done with them to protect everyone else.
There is also a tv series, made in New Zealand, based around similar subject matter to that covered by INTO THE DARKLANDS. I'd highly recommend you read the book - sure some of the subject matter is extremely confrontational, but this is real life, and it's comforting to know that there are people working in the field who understand the concept of personal responsibility and aren't afraid to take it up to the offenders. Oh - and the TV series is coming to Australia it seems. It sounds like it would be worth watching for the same reason.
Submitted 7 years 9 months ago by
Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 3:22pm
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