When I first joined the International Youth Coalition as a Blog Writer, I was asked to share my unique perspective of the Criminal Justice system in a light very different than the media’s portrayal. Along with my thoughts on the justice system, I have also shared my perception on the law as well as the lessons I have learned in this crazy journey we call life. This blog post right now marks one year of writing blogs for the IYC, and so I thought it fitting to share my thoughts, from a criminal justice perspective, on the importance of…. Perspective.
I am now in my senior year of my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice: Strategic Intelligence with a minor in Criminal Psychology. I never realized until recently how truly unique this combination of degrees really is. With Strategic Intelligence, the education focuses on governmental law, national security, and behind the scenes of protecting the United States. With Criminal Psychology we focus on the human brain, behaviors, and tendencies. We focus on why humans do what they do and how can we break an unhealthy cycle of abuse, addiction, or violence in order to prevent crime. With each of these separate educations I get a neat perspective on the justice system from the point of view of the government versus the point of view of the individual committing the crime. This new perspective has become a blessing. In the eyes of national security an individual that commits a crime is a criminal. They are punished and charged to the full extent of the law. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, there is so much more complexity to the human than that. Many crimes committed as a product of an individuals living situation. It may be a product of an addiction or even a cry out for help.
By simply locking away a criminal, you are reducing the chances of that individual ever finding rehabilitation. Rehabilitation. So many individuals come from broken families, toxic environments, and are never exposed to a positive way of life. Each and every person deserves a second chance. Sometimes even a third. There must be a blend of law and psychology to understand that while justice is vital, so is grace. This does not mean that every criminal should get off easy. Like I said, there must be a blend. In culture today, it is so easy to assume that there is an absolute right and wrong way to view this topic. That you either must lock them up and throw away the key or you let them off easy. The truth is that there is no right answer. Every single person and circumstance is unique. Do not take for word what social media tells you, look into it yourself. Value education and truth and do not settle for “he said/she said.” Stand up for what you believe in, but only if you are confident. Understand that your perspective alone, in any topic or circumstance, holds real power and weight. Take the time to reflect and be sure to consider all of the factors. This is the perspective that will make real change in the world.