Sunday, September 26, 2010

The American Legal System

The major focus of the the American legal system  (aka, the rule of law) is two-fold; one is to find the person(s) who did the wrong thing, or is likely to do the wrong thing and then punish them retributively. This is done by sending people to jails, prisons, probation departments and other parts of the Police-Industrial complex. This complex includes the judiciary, prosecutors, jailors and a complex array of lawyers and government agencies. No wonder the United States has one of the highest rates of involvement of citizens in the police-industrial complex ranging from awaiting trial, being supervised by probation and parole, being in jails or prisons, being sanctioned by "orders of protection" and the like.

I have a hard time believing as some people do that our rates of incarceration is actually higher than the Peoples' Republic of China. Let's say the "land of the free and home of the brave" ranks up there as among the most egregious systems in the world.

I believe that the State of Long Island should figure out ways to opt out of this systemic mess. There are systems of Restorative Practice that creates a more humane way of dealing with each other when something goes awry - even seriously awry. I'll post more under the title Restorative Justice Practice.

The Police-Industrial Complex is one of the many reason why we are taxed to death and see little if any benefit from the system. As the 21st Century State - Long Island has the opportunity to lead the way to more humane, reasonable and cost effective methods of dealing with each other and our serious behavior problems.

Closely related to the Police-Industrial Complex is the Regulatory-Industrial Complex which is geared toward preventing people from doing the wrong thing. It assumes that unless the nanny state is there to stop them - people will habitually do the wrong thing. More on the Regulatory-Industrial Complex in my next post.

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