Finally, we must acknowledge and address the inherent biases that exist and which act as a barrier to justice. Everyone should be given their fair day in court. Everyone must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Once an individual is proven guilty, the goal in sentencing must be the safety of the community. In the short term this means holding offenders accountable for their actions and removing them from society if necessary. In the long term this means providing offenders, whether incarcerated or not, the tools to become productive members of society and removing the barriers they face. Successful outcomes can only happen if we provide addiction and mental health services, educational and employment opportunities, family reunification, and a support system. Reducing recidivism rates is not only moral and just, it is cost effective and better for the community.
5 days ago