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10B - Is the Legal System really a Justice System.docx

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Legal Studies
LS 101
Susan Brophy

Week 10B: Is the Legal System really a Justice System? Background - Last 30 minutes of doc - Make connections - Possibility for change? - Groundwork for new approach o Is there a better/different way? Need for Alternatives A. Overview Drugs + criminality + addiction Many associated problems: - Repeat offenders - Structural elements (poverty, etc.) - Crowded courts - Enforcement procedures (police feel guilty afterwards) - Rehabilitation Question for your consideration: When dealing with criminal addicts, does harsh sentencing serve the common good? - Need for different approach o Difficult to justify punishing addicts o Can’t “cure” addiction with harsh sentencing - More therapeutic approach st - 1 alternative court: mentally ill offenders (1994) “Problem-solving courts” - Various models suited for different areas o Domestic violence, mental health, drug treatment “The problem-solving court phenomenon stems from the recognition that criminality does not always lie with individual choice but may in fact reflect deplorable social situations” (p.258) B. Purpose Problem-solving courts: - Guiding principles o Crime is bad for the community o Sentences should improve the community - Aims o Efficiency
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