Monday, November 21, 2016

Criminal Justice System: An Education Problem

Whatever political party you belong to, whichever label you put on yourself, all sensible people know that our criminal justice system is far from perfect. We have left the “correctional and rehabilitation” parts out and focused on the “punishment” thereby creating issues that should not exist.

The system changes with the political winds (should not happen), and industries whose CEOs names we do not know, are making huge profits from it. Inflated phone calls for prisoners, expensive commissaries, prison labor, the bail bond system, debtors prison (still exists just not called that), fining communities into poverty for minor offenses, etc.

Private prisons can only make a profit if there are prisoners, and we have seen judges go to jail recently for jailing kids and adults for a healthy kick-back.

We have police officers, through no fault of their own, that are inadequately trained to handle a lot of situations and there is no training in sight. We have communities that distrust the police because the police do not know them and vice-versa; and whether we want to admit or not, too many people are being killed by the police (estimated 945 this year as I write, and that does not include prison population).

How do elementary school students get handcuffed or pepper sprayed in their school? How does a child acquire an arrest record for defiance before they have even entered high school? Do we not see there is a problem here?

It is likely that someone will troll this article with crime statistics attributed along color lines, that happens often. I hope they keep in mind that this is universal, and goes beyond skin color.

These are the kind of things everyday people are concerned about (along with being able to pay the bills), these are the sort of issues I hope the next administration takes a serious look at because our children, the future of our country are being affected.

Serious problems deserve serious solutions that include serious conversations with the people affected (the poor).

We can do better, we need to do better, let us do better!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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