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Sustainable Justice

sustainable community justice

With more than 2.3 million people behind bars, the United States leads the world in both the number and percentage of residents it incarcerates, leaving far-more-populous China a distant second. More than one in 100 adults in the United States is in jail or prison, an all-time high that is costing state and federal governments about $55 billion a year.

Given the poor outcomes, is this expenditure worthwhile? American justice makes a poor job of considering the system of which we are all a part and simply treats the offender, and this results in the answer having to be ‘no’. This why I am involved with restorative justice. It is a values-based process that looks at the whole system of offenders and victims, as well as the wrongs that have been done and how they may be righted.

We are all interconnected to each other and the larger world through a web of relationships. When the web is broken, we are all affected and mutual respect is what we should seek. This will not come from viewing crime on the single axis of an individual breaking the law.

Restorative justice is a process to involve, the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible. It is a sustainable system and has lssons for all of us who talk about sustainability.

Hence my own motivation and involvement. I am just completing my traing and will soon be working on a panel at the Brattleboro Community Justice Center in Vermont. If you click on the link, it will take you to more information aboiut our Center and restorative justice on a wider basis.

PLEASE NOTE: There is tons of useful stuff on Startup Owl, a site that’s been going for a dozen years. So keep browsing, but know that the founder, Will, now devotes most of his time and energy to his new website that you should definitely visit:

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