A Different Justice
Love and the Future of Criminal Justice Practice in America
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The criminal justice system in America does not work, and, from the perspective of current criminological thought, no ideas exist for how to truly fix it. The fault lies not with criminology as a discourse, but with us as individuals. We must, together, address three fundamental questions regarding our capacity and willingness to make a justice system of which we would be proud to pass off to our children. Specifically, we must decide (1) whether or not we are permanently saddled with a hobbling justice system; (2) if we are not inextricably bound to brokenness, whether we are brave enough to strike out for the undiscovered country; and (3) if we have the ability to embrace love despite the vulnerability it imposes. Specifically, each of us must find within ourselves the capacity to bravely love, without qualification, ourselves, each other, and our world.
The purpose of this work is to discover what justice would look like were it predicated on love. Sacred sources, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, along with the thought of scholars like Erich Fromm, Karl Marx, Simone Weil, and Paolo Freire, are examined in detail for insights into the nature of love. Space is devoted to an attempt to understand why American justice practice is so broken despite the noble work of so many. The last two chapters offer both a criminology of love and a sketch of a criminal justice system predicated on love.
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