What a wacky week in the world of criminal justice! Well, isn’t every week? This week we saw the Casey Anthony rumors rise again, we found out the Blago will do anything, even say he has a drinking problem, to get out of Federal Prison early, the Sandusky case took yet another creepy turn and Barry Bonds got what he deserved. An alternative sentence. Wait, we also had the case of a woman who is in “love” with Joran Van Der Sloot! Yikes!
The great thing about working in Criminal Justice is just this. It is never boring. But, one of my concerns is the lack of accurate information. Most people who write about criminal justice issues have not lived them and some haven’t even gone to school to learn how our justice system works. There really is no mystery to solving our Incarceration Nation. The key is deciding who needs to be treated solely in a punitive way, and who would benefit from rehabilitation as well. Further, it is important to know what works and what does not.
Our Criminal Justice system is flawed for many reasons. One, is what I just stated- punitive vs. rehabilitative. We also treat our system with great mystery. In fact, the way our prison system operates is a great mystery and takes an insider like me to explain. The problem is that many people who have been in prison do not speak out about it. Especially the people who could have a positive platform. Simply put, one must make a choice to put their business on Front Street like I do, or there will never be an awareness that can lead to positive change.
It is no secret that I believe the only way to keep people from going back to prison is Accountability. It is also clear that Community Service is a life changer. So, why are these not standards used by most judges? Simple, they have never been inside and do not know how people tick who have been. My suggestion: demystify the process and let’s have some equal justice served up.
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