Governor-elect Bill Lee and various state legislative leaders want to work on criminal justice reform, but real reform will require a change in worldview.
For example, over the centuries, the emphasis in criminal law has shifted from vindication of the victim through restitution and financial penalties paid to the victim to vindication of the law itself, a “crime” against the body politic. That’s why, today, we say the criminal released from prison has “paid his debt to society.”
But what about the debt owed the actual victim? Moreover, too many in the field of criminal justice believe that the criminal’s circumstances, not sin, is the problem. Thus, we now refer to prisons as “facilities” in our “correctional system” as if that system can “correct” a person’s heart.
Worldview shapes the way we look at everything, including criminal justice reform.
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