Punitive Justice Case Study

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Our social issue of punitive justice with a focus on restorative justice as an alternative can be applied to Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development. Considering the fact that the organization we are volunteering with focuses on restorative justice’s impact on adolescents, this discussion will particularly address Erikson’s “Identity versus Role Confusion” which corresponds to the adolescent stage of age thirteen to the early twenties. The adolescents affected by the punitive justice system are unable to define themselves and ultimately remain confused over their identity. This leads them to isolate themselves from others or try to conform in order to fit in with their peers. The punitive justice system typically apprehends students who…show more content…
These trust issues usually arise from traumatic childhood events in which a trusted adult figure who holds a high level of influence (such as a mother or father) in the child’s life has done something in order for the child to lose their trust and confidence in them. Traumatic childhood events are typically the cause of the child’s issues that they will take with them long into adolescence and adulthood if the issues at hand are not resolved. Once trust is lost in someone who plays a significant role in an individual’s life, it’ll become difficult to trust anyone else for that matter. The ability to distinguish who is trustworthy becomes difficult as one’s judgment of character is now blurred. This can also be related to the gang conflict. If at a young age, a child learns that their parents are not trustworthy or reliable, they will be skeptical of their parent’s warnings to not hang out with those bad kids across the street. Consequently, their resentment towards their parent(s) will lead them to disregard their opinions and possibly hang out with those kids they were warned about just to spite their parents. In addition, to their lack of identity, their inability to evaluate character leads teens to crumble under peer pressure and ultimately make illegal decisions that will prompt their unfortunate encounter with the punitive justice
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