Source: (1996) Criminal Justice in America: Theory, Practice, and Policy, pp. 410-415, 1996, Barry W Hancock and Paul M Sharp. Prentice Hall Inc.
A “compassionate criminology” recognizes the interrelatedness of everything, i.e., that we are connected to one another and to our environment. Compassion, wisdom, and love are essential to understanding the suffering of which we are all a part. The criminal justice policies of the last 25 years have been founded on a conservative ideology and administration. The funds that have been allocated to crime have focused on the antisocial behaviors of those in our society who suffer from the harms inflicted by a mean-spirited capitalist economy. Criminology has too often served the end of such a policy. An alternative to a conservative criminal justice policy is a policy that emphasizes peacemaking; examples of such a policy are mediation, probation, and rehabilitation. There must also be alternatives that go beyond the criminal justice system: quality education for children, physical and mental health services, family support programs, employment and job security, and the allocation of resources for the reduction of poverty. If the objective is to end suffering and reduce or eliminate crime, there can be no other path than peace and social justice.
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