A call for restorative justice
May 10, 2013
I write this letter after reading
The Royal Gazette article about the 14-year-old male who was remorseless in court for his disgusting and violent crimes. Yet again I publicly call upon those in positions to enact changes to our broken and flawed justice system. Once again I ask people in positions of power to research Restorative Justice. The punitive justice system in which most places in the world use clearly doesn't work. Restorative justice is widely used by Native American cultures in their communities and other small towns.
It makes the offender face those they harmed over and over and speak to them and also make direct reparations to the person(s) they harmed. It requires both the victim and offender to want to do it, but the rate of repeat offenders is drastically lower. It makes the offender develop genuine remorse and understanding. It even has shown success in rape cases. It’s quite easy for an offender to commit a crime, be tossed away and never face their victim, but when they do and see the damage caused it has a far more successful rate rehabilitating the offender. It gives the prisoner the option to go the punitive route and some try the restorative route thinking it will be easy but several end up stopping and going back to the normal jail time because facing the victims and seeing their damage is too much to bare.
Even when this happens the prisoner is more likely not to commit that crime again after realising the damage inflicted. Bermuda is nothing more than a small town with that villager mentality. This system would work here. It needs to be attempted. When it costs double the price to house an inmate at Westgate than it costs to put a child in public education, there is a serious breakdown of society going on.
How can we justify spending so much more money on someone who has harmed society and, given our terrible rehabilitation system, is likely to just do it again? Is there any wonder youth are ill equipped to face the real world when more money is spent on a criminal than them? The other option is corporal punishment. Not capital, but corporal. Let’s face the facts, kids that get a good licking with a oleander stick coming up are the ones that grow up to be decent people nine times out of ten. I am talking discipline not child abuse, as there is a difference.
These parents who never do a dang thing and let their kids do whatever they want, it’s no wonder they have no respect or fear for authority or consequences.