"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Untive, the Real Justice

What I found most compelling about “unitive” justice was its consideration of the larger community. I'm a believer in conflict resolution and mediation, but oftentimes these approaches focus on a small incident and do not consider the bigger picture. For instance, if two men got into a fight, they have several options: they could further escalate the conflict by getting their friends/family involved, file an assault charge, or they could opt for mediation.

While not all parties are willing to engage in mediation because of animus, a sense of pride, or other reasons – if we consider that an assault charge may result in jailtime for one or both which could separate them from their children; jailtime could cause them to lose their jobs and make it more difficult to pass a background check and get hired in the future; that a loss of income could push them and their families further into poverty – if we consider all this then we can see it is not just about “punishing one person,” but that a punitive system has far reaching impacts on many other people. If the two parties involved in the dispute realize this, I think they'll be more likely to at least try mediation over the court system.

1 comment:

  1. I am so interested in unitive justice and finding collaborative solutions, but I feel like capitalism is such a win-lose based system that I wonder how much of an uphill climb it will be to teach compassion and forgiveness? I really intellectually struggled with it. I think getting churches, students, and even like Dr. Muth said, prisoners involved in this practice might be a great way to encourage its growth.


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