Deosaran essays, grim reminder that criminal injustice is eroding society


Professor Ramesh Deosaran’s essays on criminal justice and politics are an in-depth examination of public security institutions and democracy in the TT. – Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Israel Rajah-Khan, South Carolina

As a practitioner of criminal justice for over 40 years, I find the essays in the book Crime, Politics and Justice in a Multiracial Society, by Professor Emeritus Ramesh Deosaran, not only fascinating to read, but a grim reminder of how crime and injustice have eroded civil society over the years and how serious the challenges remain.

His essays tell us not only how our public security institutions failed, but also how to fix it.

He started these trials from 2010 with the troubling question of lawlessness and how this infectious civic disease has grown over the years to fuel increasingly serious crimes. Ironically, and sadly, he ended these essays by once again painting a disturbing portrait of anarchy and its deleterious effects in 2020.

Things, he wrote, got worse. From squatting, pollution, chaotic sales, PH taxis, judicial inefficiency to diminished confidence in the police, corruption, educational deficits, health services.

Sure, it sounded the alarm, but it also provided ideas and policies, many of which are research-based, to make things better. Only those who have ears to hear will listen. He graciously noted useful contributions from other professionals, for example, the 1992 Dennis Gurley Committee Report to Help Reduce Trial Times, and the 1994 Ellis Clarke Commission to Improve the Administration of Justice, including Deosaran he himself was also a member.

In discussing the “culture of anarchy”, he takes a broad and criminogenic view of the phenomenon.

He says, “Let me say that selling, different from squatting, is a form of informal business. If you look across the country you’ll see “the little people” selling all this, that, and the other. In other words, micro-entrepreneurship and self-help businesses are bubbling all around us. Therefore, the authorities should build appropriate facilities and signage to encourage sales in a sanitary, orderly, legal and even more profitable manner. Anarchy takes hold of unguarded space. It starts out with drops, a little here and a little there, but quickly becomes a widespread habit as it brings visible benefits.

These essays contain repeated proposals to improve the police department, the police department board, the education system, parliament, the criminal justice system, prisons, road safety, and even jury trials. Deosaran continues the analysis from 2010 to 2020 without appearing desperate but maintaining the optimism and civic vigilance to help keep our fundamental freedoms and democracy alive.

Some of his essays boldly challenge the weaknesses of the political party system through its continued practice of favoritism rooted in merit, the inequitable distribution of state resources, etc. Tension between political parties seems inevitable, he argues, since political parties survive on patronage. and division.


These concerns are revealed in his essays on democracy, the Jamaat al Muslimeen insurgency of 1990, and the rights of a free press.

Reading his essays on gangs, school delinquency, parenthood, state corruption, the culture of lawlessness, white-collar and blue-collar crime, and even gossip and rumor, I remain very impressed with his intellectual versatility in drawing research and insights from social psychology, sociology, politics and criminology to produce these essays so eloquently.

It explains how gangs form, the risk factors and how to prevent them from forming. He explains, sometimes with humor, the rise of electronic guerrillas. Several trials on jury trials challenge those who advocate its total abolition. He admits that some reform is needed but insists that the main objectives of the jury system should be maintained through better treatment of jurors.

As a member of several international professional bodies and a regular speaker at public safety conferences, including his active role in the Association of Caribbean Police Commissioners, he has well-developed skills to transform his academic research into public policies and training programs. In particular, his essays indicate that he has an in-depth knowledge of community policing and its complementary role to law enforcement.

As an associate member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Deosaran excelled as a valued public intellectual. These essays, written so attractively and independently, help to eliminate much of the selfish positions and interests that often lead public opinion astray. He politely took off many masks with his intellectual honesty and his passion for underdogs.

The country should be proud and grateful for the contributions of this tireless and brilliant professor. These trials could be used with profit by tourists, researchers, teachers, students, members of protection services, policy makers, politicians and community activists.

Comments are closed.