14th Feb 05
Liz asked about the practicality of implementing the Japanese community justice approach in the United States. (see blog 15th Oct 04)
I believe that reintegrative shaming, which has been successful in Japan, could be used in America. Statistics indicate that there are less than 100,000 prisoners in Japan versus over 1 million in the US (figures released by the US Dept of Justice 31/12/03, 1,470,045 total prison population) so taking a small fraction of the US prison population out and into community guidance programs would benefit the economy and reduce the taxpayers' burden. Those prisoners could be making a positive contribution to society.
America will continue to suffer rising crime and prison overcrowding until the politicians and legislators decide to address the root causes of crime.(see blog ‘Crime & Punishment) Unfortunately the profiteers continue to successfully lobby for the status quo, and as a result, a justice system designed to protect and benefit the public has been converted into a profit- making scheme.