Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Retributive vs Restorative Justice

There are 2.2 million people locked up in America right now. We have been told that vengeance and retribution are virtues, but they are not and never have been. 

Retribution is no more good as a form of official justice than it is as a personal practice. Here's what it looks like next to restorative justice.

Go wholistic by practicing and supporting restorative justice. You can learn more here.

1 comment:

  1. Allow me to go around the block to come next door.
    Firstly, I don't think one can honestly juxtapose 'retributive' and 'justice' as if one modifies the other. Justice is never a call for retribution. Rather, justice always seeks to restore to wholeness.
    Yet, the sad commentary on American "justice" within the mythic concept of America being a Christian nation is belied by America's own foreign policy, which in a sense is self-incriminating: America's policy toward other countries is foreign to America's stated beliefs in its own constitution.
    Thus, America's policies toward some of its own people is also foreign because of its retributive character. America is an unknown to itself as it still seeks some kind of identity, some kind of unifying voice. The fact that the legal system is purposely adversarial already steers argument, discussion and conclusions toward some form of retribution. Reasonable doubt has been prostituted to serve 'getting off the hook' rather than serving justice.
    In today's culture, restorative justice is difficult to put into practice. Our "Christian nation" has gone beyond muddying the soil toward truth, mercy, understanding,and justice. While I have many reasons to believe their still burns a compassionate candle within the fabric of ordinary Americans, the media and business in their fear of losing ratings and money are doing their best to distort compassion and meaningfulness and creating a trivial pursuit culture.
    Make no mistake, there are people who should be in prison for the harm they have done. But I believe the majority of people in prison have served beyond their time, that prisons need more segregation as to maturity, growth and conscience of the men and women who have changed, and that our laws need more humanity, reason and justice to make our legal system a living dynamic system that furthers the growth of our society. Restorative justice is one step toward that.