Real Human Relationships

I'm in law school, and this semester I have a class on the criminal justice system. I read Harvey's article on RC needing to begin to take on and take seriously the work of liberating "people marked for destruction." Most of the "clients" of the criminal justice system fall into that category.

I have a really good teacher. He's gruff and distant but principled to the core, and he said something super-smart today that I thought I'd share. He was asking the class, "What should we do with a repeat offender who has herself been brutalized in every way imaginable?" Students offered all kinds of ideas, from education and "mental health" treatment (the progressives) to imprisonment (the conservatives), when finally he shook his head and said, "You guys have to understand that these people in the system are far and away the loneliest goddamn people you're ever going to meet. The one characteristic they share is that, by and large, they've never had a single meaningful connection with another human being. I wonder that they do as well as they do, given the level of loneliness and isolation in which they are functioning. The goal of the system with these people has got to be, before anything else, to give them a means of connecting to other people. Not people who are paid to connect with them, but real human relationships of their own."

So we RC folks have some friends out there thinking about this, too!

"Belle Case"
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00