Global Stories

Justice with 20/20 Vision

A possibly violent incident involving youth occurs and the tough question arises “How do we get this kid back on track while keeping the community safe”?.

In Seattle’s King County the decision has been made to frame youth crime as a public health issue. This can hold open the possibility for young people to make other choices in their lives while still addressing issues of discipline and authority. Counseling, leadership training and other forms of personal development help to broaden the youth’s perspective. Creative restorative justice approaches replace the lifelong stigma of inevitable imprisonment. In one example a young offender who attacked a police officer was required to ride along with that officer for 25 hours to see the world through their eyes. Many children have been traumatized in their young lives and this system tries to understand that and be responsive and aware. It seems to work, and decision-makers plan to study further and evaluate the process to be sure.

Most criminal offenses are committed by young offenders (cannabis charges account for a lot of that). Nova Scotia has had a small but important reduction in levels (some provinces have had significant increases), but still we should keep an eye on the results of this evaluation.

All Conversations Justice with 20/20 Vision

2 replies, 2 voices Last updated by  Tony Lamport 1 year, 6 months ago
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  • Wayside Staff @BradHoffman

    Much more needs to be said about what Justice boils down to. Professional people on the inside just care about getting convictions to further their careers: they do not care about the individuals accused of crimes.

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