What is Justice
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Politics and Activism

What is Justice

In our society there are rules.

What is Justice

In our society, there are rules set in place to “protect” us called laws. Those who enforce the law are the police. Those who follow the law are civilians of this country. If you don’t follow the laws you are arrested and placed accordingly. This is the most basic breakdown of the justice system. What we perceive as a fair system may not always be the case. In one simple article, I cannot begin to even moderately explain what is wrong with our justice system. It infuriates me to see things happen in this country that are not just, not rationalized, and even to an extent, the horror that is seen on the streets and in our prisons. Money and agendas run the system, something that many people do not want to think about or consider. They see it as, “Oh, they arrested that black man for being violent, good he's off the streets.” But what is the real cause? Was the individual pressed to the point of agitation to simply meet a quota? There are so many things to consider when we discuss justice, and the way we're handling it currently makes me feel like our society has let us down.

Laws are meant to protect us, right? Well my first question to my readers is, do you feel our laws currently protect us and are enforced properly? One of the things that gets under my skin is how we handle the prisoners in our country. Yes, they are prisoners. Yes, some have done horrid acts and deserve some sort of punishment. Yes, they are also human beings. The treatment of convicts in this country is a big problem. First let’s look at how we incarcerate individuals. Once arrested the individual is already marked as being a deviant of the social norm, whether in the right or wrong. If someone goes, “Yes I was arrested before”, a preconceived idea is already in our head. This person must be a bad person, someone who can hurt me, someone that can’t hold a job, and the list goes on and on. Just because someone was arrested does not mean they are a bad person, it could be because of something simple. Or even shockingly, not their fault.

Second, let us dive into what happens to an individual when they are placed in the prison system. Now a convict, the person has to deal with a lot inside and when they get out. Have you ever seen inside of a prison before? Between the impact it has on health (both physical and mental), the way we treat them on the inside, and the social hierarchy in the prison, how does one survive. The life behind bars is not one that we have designed to be positive, and more importantly does not help you go back into society. Which leads to the third part of the article, what about after prison? You would think that we would be able to train individuals and give them life skills for after, so it is a smooth transition. That is the exact opposite of what we see, but we choose not to believe it. Getting a job that you want after being in prison is not an easy task to overcome. Some employers just notice that you have been incarcerated and that’s it, you’re done. The stigma surrounding life after prison is one of those things we just decide not to talk about, what does it matter right they were in prison. Well my next question to think about is, what if it was you?

Like I mentioned earlier, I could go on and write multiple books on why the system is the way it is, why is it so screwed up, and why we think the way we do. But writing is simply not enough. We need to band together and overcome this social injustice that is going on at different levels. Police brutality, prison hierarchy, the politics surrounding prisons, prisons as a major money institution, the list goes on and on. How has it come to this? That the race of a person depends on how we deal with them in the justice system. That we don’t consider what the individual has been through, we just lock them up and throw away the key. Better yet when they get out of prison good luck living a normal life.

What is the big deal with giving other human beings an opportunity to correct their mistakes? We all make mistakes, that’s life. What is unfair is how we treat others who might not even deserve to be there! Let’s focus on individual rights, let’s focus on getting prisoners programs to re-enter the community that are evidence-based so they actually work, let’s make a change and help others. My final question for my readers is what is justice and how do you define it?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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