The concept of justice, in general, is complex and somewhat nebulous (and thus specified differently by the different aspects of it), and, of course, deeply philosophical, considering that every society has its own ideas of what is and isn’t just in the different spheres of life where the concept must be applicable, so after finding and accepting a definition, we should ask ourselves, what is justice to us, personally, when it is related to crime and punishment in the 21st century America, and how much of our own conviction (no pun intended) regarding those issues agrees with the way our society manages them, and also, if you consider the idea of social justice an integral part of the issue (dilemma?) of crime and punishment or separate from it? For starters, please see the dictionary definition of justice below.
Please understand that such issues can lead to the conflict of opinion with other students who may see things very differently, so please refrain from name-calling, empty propaganda (opinions do not matter in critical thinking — facts are), and assigning blame to certain groups of people or to one political party or another (there is plenty of blame to go around in every direction, in any case) and again, try to focus on facts and logic in support of your argument.
Here is your discussion challenge:
Before you start: Please watch the Movie Moments videos — they provide information you should know before you make your argument one way or another.
1. Try to define ‘justice’ regarding ‘crime and punishment’ in our society (see the dictionary definition below). What is justice, in essence, within that framework? Punishment? Retribution? Deterrence? Correction? Protecting society from harm? Maintaining the status quo (a tradition and social order to be upheld and continued unchanged) and, if so, can it be separated from another concept, ‘social justice?’
2. Is our justice system ‘just,’ according to the definition you find relevant, and also, is it so according to its moral definition in our society? What can be the reason for ‘injustice’ (if there is any) within our justice system?
3. There are all kinds of talks about the need for prison reform — why? Is there anything wrong with it? And if so, how could the system be improved (in case it should be improved)?