Thoughts to Discussions

Under The Microscope: Rethinking Our Juvenile Justice System connects to my group’s inforgraphic: Breaking the Chains. Our infographic focuses on the Zero Tolerance policy, which is the “problem”, and the “resolution”, which is Restorative Justice. This article makes a connection to our what and so what of our inforgraphic because it talks about status quo, mental illness, inability to trust, and assumptions. Zero tolerance makes many assumptions, mostly negative assumptions towards the child when they execute poor behavior or make a bad choice. “Children in the juvenile justice system are often viewed as beyond hope and uncontrollable, labeled oppositional, willfully irresponsible, or unreachable, according to the task force”(Lam). A young child’s action shouldn’t define who they are, they are still learning right and wrong. The Zero tolerance policy tried to make sure that all punishments were equal and fair, but as it turns out the punishments are just plain confusing. Certain actions can be punished to the extreme while others who execute the same actions are given a lighter punishment. This policy definitely contributes to the school to prison pipeline. This article also reminds the reader that children in the juvenile justice system still have a great amount of potential to become great upstanding citizens.

The now what for, Breaking the Chains infographic, is Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice is the improved approach to solve problems. This theory has the child who created the problem verbally apologize and explain their reasoning with all who were involved. This system works very well in a school setting, and I believe it can work just as well in a work setting. This article states,

“The Task Force made several recommendations that include upgrading standards in the juvenile justice system: abandon practices that that traumatize children; base assessments on each child’s needs; address needs of LGBTQ individuals in the juvenile justice system; implement policies that keep children in school…”(Lam).

The Now what for zero tolerance is restorative justice; meaning, improving our education system and the way punishments are established. It’s important to understand the root cause that leads great kids to either success or prison.

Yes, our class’s indirect collaboration with the Kid C.A.T. members was a great eye opener. Like I’ve said in a couple of my previous critical reflections, I have definitely thought about these issues on education, but I haven’t really had a chance to discuss them. It is great to get feed back from individuals who are directly affected by these systems.