Justice is the ability to act fairly in the eyes of the law, the offender, the victim and the society in general. Four paradigms of justice present different ways in which crime can be solved. These four paradigms are restitution, restoration, rehabilitation, and retribution. In our case, of a juvenile offense, nay of the four can be applied, however, based on the circumstances of the crime and the way the boy who committed this crime has been brought up, it is important to fuse three paradigms so as to resolve the crime and help the boy.
Law and order are two of the most important features needed for societal coexistence, people in different societies cannot live together in harmony if some of the members of the society are left to wreak havoc among other members of the society. It is on this basis that there are different ways that different communities have different ways of ensuring that those members of the society who do not live peacefully with the others are either separated from the other members of the society, or they are made to realize why it is important to stay in harmony by helping them change their ways. This paper will explore the different methods used by communities to dispense justice to both the offender and victim based on a case study which involves a specific form of crime in a specific society.
Justice is defined as the act of doing what is fair and acceptable to two antagonist groups so that at the end of the day both the person who was offended and the person who was responsible for the offense feel that what was done was the right thing. There are different ways in which justice has been dispensed in different communities or societies. The four paradigms of justice include restitutive justice, retributive justice, and restorative justice and rehabilitative justice.
Restitutive Justice is the kind of justice that entails the offender returning whatever he or she had taken away from a victim so that the sense of the loss that bring the bad blood between the offender and the victim is resolved. Restitution entails healing the pain that the victim feels after losing something, the mean idea of restitution is that since the victim gets back what they had lost, there will be no problem between him or her and the offender thereby bring the problem to an end.
This form of justice dwells on punishing the offender for his or her crime. Retributive justice is mainly based on the law and views crime as a breach of law in which the offender must be punished as the law dictates. Normally retributive justice is not so concerned about the victim since it looks at an offense as something done against the state or government or the law issue. In this case, the punishment given to the offender may not mean that the victim gets what he or she had lost but rather, the punishment is given according to the law so as to protect other members of the society against the danger presented by the offender.
Just as the name suggests, it is about restoration. Restorative justice normally deals with restoration or normalization of the relationship between the offender and the victim. According to Restorative justice, the offender and the victims should be brought together to enable the two of them to sort out the problem that had been caused by the offender. In such situation, the offender may return or replace what he or she had stolen and apologize or give reasons why he or she did it so that the offender can understand what pushed the offender to do what he or she did. The victim, on the other hand, is also accorded the opportunity to share how the problems caused by the offender affected him or her and frankly state his feeling and his position about the whole issue. The main aim of this paradigm of justice is to restore or normalize the relationship between the victim and the offender.
Rehabilitative Justice focuses mainly on the offender and looks at the offender some deficient being who needs to be helped to get back to normal. Rehabilitation focuses mainly of the offender's deficiencies and not on his ability to correct his mistakes; it looks at the offender as someone who needs help and close monitoring. Rehabilitative Justice views the offenders behavior as inherent and one that needs deeply rooted solutions.
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In our case of a stolen video game, there are different factors to consider when rendering justice to the boy who stole the video game since different people have been affected by this particular event. Therefore the different paradigms of justice can be applied as follow;
The boys can use different methods to return the video get he had stolen so that the person who owns the video game can get it back. The boy could direct the authorities to the place where he had sold the video game so that the police get back the video game and return it to them owner. The boys mother can also buy back the video game and take her son with her to the house where the video game had been stolen, return it to the owners and apologize for the wrong the boy had done.
Since the boy had committed a crime of burglary, he alongside the other unruly boys should be punished according to the law. One way of punishing the boys is by taking them to A juvenile prison so that they answer for their crimes. This will also be fair to a neighborhood that feels tense and afraid that their homes can be broken into whenever they are away. Getting the offenders away from the community and confining them to a juvenile prison will bring back a sense of security and safety back into the neighborhood.
The circumstances under which the boy committed his crime can be understood as those that may not have been of his making. Others influenced him, and therefore he should be given a second chance. The boy can, therefore, be given an opportunity to explain himself before the whole neighborhood and the family he had offended. He should explain why he committed the crime and asked for forgiveness from the people his actions had affected. He should also be able to listen to the kind of problems his action had caused to the victims so that he can be able to understand how his actions had caused a lot of harm. He should then be able to apologize for his actions so that he can still have a good relationship with the people he had offended.
The boy could have lost truck and started indulging in unruly behavior due to the family problems that are in his home. The parents divorce might have seriously affected the boy to the extents that he had to look for the company from the quarters he did. Parental neglect could also have contributed to the boy's behavior. In this situation, the boy needs special help through counseling so as to help him live a normal life. It may also need the help of the boy's parents to get him back into living a normal life. Therefore, the boy should be put through a proper rehabilitation process to get him to normalcy.
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In this Scenario, I propose rehabilitation because clearly, the boy needs help. Help that locking him up in some prison may not give, at his age, so many things that are happening in his life are confusing, and he needs some answers to those questions, and that is why he might be seeking to get to know a few things through deviant behaviors. The family that lost the video game should, however, be given back what they lost and probably compensated for the damage; the boy should also apologize for his actions. I, therefore, recommend a fusion of three paradigms of Justice namely restitution, restoration and rehabilitation to help exhaustively deal with this problem.