Today I had an awesome experience! Ethan from circles and ciphers, a program that encourages talking through situations, came to visit us and led a circle. We went around and shared our own views on certain aspects of justice. I really had to think about my responses carefully and enjoyed listening to what others had to share. We first were asked what we define as a criminal. Previous to this week, my answer would have been simple; a criminal is someone who breaks the law. However, after these past few days my definition has evolved. I now define a criminal as a person who freely and consciously harms themselves or others. So many people who commit major crimes (ex:mass shootings) are mentally ill and I do not believe they are fully conscious of what they are doing when they commit the crime. Yes, I do believe that what they have done is terribly wrong, but at the same time we cannot lose the human being in the process of justice. Obviously, they need help and counseling, but at the same time need to be punished for their actions. Also, I do not believe drug use should necesarilly be punished simply by jail time. Addicts need counseling, and keeping them in jail without treating their sickness, only to let them out a few months or years later does not prepare them to re-enter society with all it’s triggers and temptations. This week has definitely been extremely informative. Not only have we learned about juvenile justice, but we also educated Erica (the dean of students at Carolton) on what a dandelion is! We went shopping on Michigan Avenue today and also visited the iconic bean. Plenty of pictures will be posted on facebook after this week! Our time here has consisted of plenty of learning, but also loads of fun. I cannot wait to see whats in store for tomorrow!
See you tomorrow,