Healing justice to me is finding solutions by being proactive, opposed to vicious prosecution resulting in mass incarceration. The U.S. criminal justice system for too long has relied on punishment with little emphasis on restorative justice. This has resulted in tens of million Americans with arrest records, convictions and under some sort of criminal control. Then we lable people felons, convicts, probationers, parolees, black-sheeps, white-trash and a host of other shaming names. This behavior could be considered a form of bullying, which is condemned by First Lady-Trump when convenient, yet she seem so clueless about everything else. However, healing justice could begin during the pretrial stage. For instance, healing justice can begin by making victims whole with victim, offender conferences. I’m not saying prison are not necessary, just that arrest and jail should not be the first reaction. What if, we had meditators and psychologists at police stations who dealt with certain harms and crimes avoiding arrest records, prisons and the aftermath. are victims of crime, or the public truly safe after perpetrators are incarcerated? The perps, homies, lovers, friends and family are still in the same communities; and in many cases know each other. So are victims safer or exposed?
Healing justice should begin in communities where there is visible blight, economic depression, high-unemployment, substance abuse and high crime. The proactive approach would be economic development for and by the people who live in that community. Yet, the response has been reactive with more police not from our community, creating Us verses Them; with another person dead, or sending another to the Feds.
So, how do marginalized communities heal? Particularly when these are the communities of so many people returning home from prison? One way, make obtaining wealth more accessible with money for college and trade schools with out going into a lifetime of debt. Education on wealth building, the availability of jobs that pay livable wages, affordable housing, viable home ownership, continued healthcare options. The list is lengthy…
Lastly It’s important for people to put in the necessary work and not just hope “IT” happen, but make “IT” happen. I, as a resident of a correctional facility have taken many steps to change the paradigm of recidivism. My incarceration is not my identity! I’ve taken a number of reconciliation steps in an attempt to move forward with the help of other to make things right. I welcome any and all responses. Just bear in mind I’ll respond to all with the proper return email stamp(s). Thank you!