Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Changing the Justice System- Law & Order with Compassion & Wisdom

I listened to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormick and am happy we are starting to discuss the need or justice reform but I think there is more we can do. I believe that criminals should be held accountable (That includes bad acting officers and people who commit crimes.) but that accountability doesn't always mean jail time. Jail is the hammer in the end for those who do not take ownership over their behaviors or go through the steps to ensure they don't commit such acts again.

There are smaller cases, first time cases, and other issues where "throwing the book" at someone without understanding what is going on isn't the right thing to do. Stealing an apple to feed ones family should not be a worse crime than embezzling millions from pension funds. Sometimes it seems the court system doesn't always seem to understand the differences.

There are also alternatives that include mental health, community engagement, and volunteering that can make a difference (probably a few more). These are especially important if such activities will deter people from bigger crimes while helping to solve the root of the problem.  I'm a believer in Law and Order with Compassion and Wisdom.

Getting "Tough on Crime!" should also include "Getting Smart on Crime".

It should not matter a persons station in life on whether they are held accountable or not. There should be no "immunity" for people who are willfully trying to damage others for their own selfish gains. It is an issue of basic values and the essential purpose of Justice. I have seen great officers and I applaud them and I have seen officers do some criminal things and not been held accountable because the Justice system has its own "code".

People make mistakes and should be given opportunities to correct those mistakes when greater insight is found. Accountability is about growing and developing as a person. It has little to do with actual arrest. As our system grows and develops with lots of "experts" they build these complex systems that move further away from their essential purpose to society.

There have been some discussion on changes to specific times, avoiding prisons when necessary, and creating a more humane systems.  New data and information are allowing us to change some of our perceptions and find better solutions. We are gaining insight and understanding. Such reforms must balance the need to protect society and do what is best in the interest of everyone involved.

I think that the courts should reform to ensure they are fulfilling their missions and that finding the right solution is better than showing unbridled punishment. That also includes holding bad apples accountable, despite not having a video, to ensure there isn't systematic veering off of the the needs of society to pander to political interests. There may be no perfect system but we can keep moving in the right direction. Accountability with compassion is important to maintain Law & Order. Problems should be solved as close to the root as possible.

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