Indigenous justice always advocated for peace between the offender and the victim. Application of this system in the current justice system will reduce the population of jail cells. Restorative justice advocates for the use of jail term when all other avenues have failed. According to this system, jail separates the community while other ways of resolving issues ensure that the community remains tight knit. From the indigenous justice principles, correctional policies can be formulated. A correctional policy inspired by the indigenous justice principle would be, sentencing offenders to community work and counseling sessions. This ensures that the offender is made accountable to the society by knowing what they did wrong and at the same time being accepted by the society that sees them reforming (Achtenberg, 2015). Indigenous justice principles reduce the possibility of individuals being turned into hardcore criminals after being convicted of small crimes that could have been corrected by lighter and friendlier sentences.
These values are more compatible with some offences than others and definitely more appropriate for some types of offenders than others. Light offences such as petty theft cannot be treated the same as robbery with violence. The correctional policies are usually applicable to first time offenders and most especially juvenile offenders. This is because they often have a chance to mend their ways and coexist with the rest of the community members without being graduating to bigger crimes (Achtenberg, 2015). Considering all the factors, the indigenous justice system caters for a certain group of offenders not just any offender. It requires high levels of diligence to discern who gets convicted by these laws and who is convicted using the normal laws.
Race has a lot to do with the higher rates of contact between the police and juvenile offenders of color. In many cases where a black juvenile has been caught with a petty crime, the police are usually brutal to them. They are treated very harshly and handed serious sentences. This relationship can be attributed to the long period of doubts for both parties where the police department criminalizes the whole race and on the other hand the black community sees the police as an enemy (Quigley, 2011). In many cases, the police officers being white are alleged to be biased against black juveniles. They are likely to be found guilty of an offense that a white youth would easily get away with. A crime committed by a juvenile of color is considered more criminal than the same being committed by a white juvenile. The result of such a bias is that jails end up being filled with people of color while the white are a minority.
The difference in treatment of white youth and the others of color occurs because the police department targets them according to race. It is more likely for a juvenile of color to be stopped and inspected by a police officer along the road compared to a white youth (Quigley, 2011). This means that even if three youths were stopped at the same time, with exactly the same amount of drugs in their pockets, the white one gets to go scot free, because they will not get searched, while the others will get arrested. In case they all get arrested of the same offence, the white youth is likely to get a lighter sentence while the youths of color get the maximum possible sentences. This still boils down to the seriousness of racism in the police department in the United States.
Achtenberg, M. (2015). Correctional Service of Canada. Canada.
Quigley, B. (2011, May 25). Fourteen Examples of Racism in Criminal Justice System. Retrieved from Huffpost: m.huffpost.com/us/entry/658947
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