Social Responsibility and the Criminal Justice System

 

B26427 / Mon, 24 Dec 2007 23:00:48 / Human Rights

Jurisprudence and its adjudications are constructed on the cornerstones of “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “evil”. By these definitions a correct solution can be reached with regard to any action or actions of man.

The fundamental test of rationality is the ability to differentiate “right” from “wrong”. The fundamental factors in establishing censure are “good” and “evil”.

Without precision definitions of these four factors any structure of law or judgment is rendered forceless and becomes involved through its introduction of arbitrary factors which seek to adjudicate by introducing errors to nullify errors.

Penal codes which will answer all needs can only be written when precision, scientific definitions exist for the four factors. Civil equity which will not lead to injustice can only then be formulated and established.

The problems of jurisprudence, and indeed all judgment, are inextricably interwoven with the problems of behavior. An ideal situation would be a society of sane and rational persons conducting their lives within a sane and rational culture: for the person, the culture, or both may be infirm.

The irrationalities of the culture enter into the equation of conduct as factors through the door of education, social custom and jurisprudence.

It is not enough for the individual to be sane and rational, for he finds himself within the confines of a society which has compounded into its culture many unreasonable prejudices and customs.

The establishment of the actual source of wrong and evil is the fundamental purpose of jurisprudence.

The actual source unfortunately lies in the irrationalities of those past generations who, working with limited knowledge and oppressed by their environs, sought solutions with equations which contained false and indefinite factors.

These generations, long entombed cannot be held accountable. We are the heirs to all the ages of the past and that is good: but we are the heirs as well to all the irrationalities of the past and that is evil.

In the absence of broad reason the adjudication of the acts of a man by society cannot be performed with justice. The insane and the criminal, the hypochondriac and the merciless dictator, the apathetic who wander the streets are all, each one, gripped and driven by their own sources of unreason which, in the form of social injustice, pound them from without.

The acts of irrationality, violence, desperation, and fear are manifestations of what has been done to, not by, these individuals.

Given a society of rational individuals and a culture from which all unreason has been deleted, then and only then, can a man be truly responsible for his own actions.

For now we must accept the shadow of responsibility for the fact of it.

Since society itself bears at least partial responsibility for maladaptive behavior, surely the process of punishment can be refined so as to sentence the individual not to further injustice by imprisonment without hope of proper treatment.

The incarceration of individuals for the sake of retribution is pointless, unless the society itself is so unjust and corrupt that it desires to operate on sadistic principles.

There is more than idealism here, for it can be shown that irrationality in individuals and the society rises in progressive ratio to the amount of punishment employed.

A culture, to say nothing of jurisprudence, grows complex and unwieldy in progressive ratio to the number of new evils it must introduce in an effort to nullify old evils.

At last there can be no reason; there can be only force.

Where there lives force without reason it results in rage.

We as individuals must reject the rule of force over reason, fear over compassion, retribution over forgiveness.

We must, if we are to continue to progress, realize nothing is gained by judging past error and reprimanding it with further injustice.

Not only is nothing to be gained, but our very progress and life itself may be left at risk.

Attack unreason, not the man.

Peace,

terrible bad average good great

RECENT COMMENTS

GWHunta’s slightly revised and reworded version of:
Judiciary Dianetics
~ L. Ron Hubbard

GWHunta @ 12/24/07 23:10:25

William Penn, Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham, John Howard, Alexander Maconochie, Zebulon Brockway, and countless others have worked through the course of history to effect change in the way society treats its own.

If any one of these men were able to visit today’s world to witness the great strides that man as a race has made in these past few centuries, I am sure they would be in awe of the technological progress.

Interstate highways, huge airports, cities providing services they couldn’t have imagined.

In the midst of the wealth and the wonder I should think they would find the conditions of most of the correctional facilities resembling their own time, not befitting the hopes that they held out for our time of prosperity and technological achievement.

I am sure that institutions such as Butner, North Carolina would meet with their approval, but how would one explain that this situation for the incarcerated is the exception and not the rule?

On whom or what could we blame this slow progress? The lack of funding?

In 1986 Americans spent roughly eight times more on tobacco products than we did to operate our correctional facilities.

It is likely we would be forced to argue that prison operations have been slow to change due to the lack of evidence of improved recidivism rates in relation to levels of treatment.

It seems that the ultimate test of all treatment programs is its effect on the rate of recidivism.

This to me seems illogical. Criminals are imprisoned for problems that were acquired in the “free” world. A complex set of factors over a long period of time that no one today can claim to fully understand.

To expect correctional institutions to solve this mystery and correct it in a setting where the patient is held against his will, and is generally fearful for his life, is unrealistic no matter what facilities or treatment can be provided.

A better test of a treatment program should be the rate of violence within the institution, rates of compliance with prison rules and authority; and lastly the correctional client’s own level of awareness of his needs and willingness to continue to seek help that must be made available to him post release, when his participation is truly voluntary.

The sad fact is that prisons and justice systems have been slow to evolve because most members of our present society maintain an “us and them” attitude towards those whom for whatever reason have the misfortune to be behind bars.

Most are either ignorant of the conditions inside prison walls or feel that this is what is deserved by those who have been convicted of a crime.

For the minority who are compassionate and caring towards their fellow man, they must deal with the limitations that are placed on the system by those who feel enough or in cases too much is being done already.

It is my personal opinion that if people truly wish a society with a greater level of security from criminal activity, they must first educate themselves on the true causes of crime in this country.

A great deal can be learned by a simple study of the demographics of the correctional client. Most are young minorities. We must correct the hypocrisy that permeates our society.

We operate on the theoretical assumption that a human life is priceless, yet homeless children are a national reality.

Homeless seniors freeze to death in the streets of our cities and many who have homes are forced to choose between food and heat.

Public housing developments in many urban areas are physically worse off than are the prisons and some are nearly as crowded.

So many are appalled at the crime rate in these urban areas.

I am personally impressed by the level of compliance with the law that exists under these conditions.

It is a true testimony to the basic goodness of those who are left to do with little in the midst of plenty.

I believe Maslow’s theory of self-actualization applies not only to individuals, but to societies as a whole.

If we, as a nation are going to lead the rest of the world, we must first recognize the fundamental needs of all members of our society.

Only then can we solve the problems we face as a nation.

So long as we continue to believe that the majority can continue to progress while millions struggle to simply stay alive we are doomed to increasing crime and violence.

The moral fiber of the country is at risk and more prisons, even if they are well staffed and equipped, will not answer these basic problems.

~ Wade Roberts circa 1987

(Back in the day while schooling to keep the black man down for the man.)

Sometimes no Peace

GWHunta @ 12/24/07 23:25:15

Where did we go from here?

GWHunta @ 12/26/07 14:24:56
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