Legislation: Practical theology lenses in legislation may involve considering ethical and moral principles when creating laws. The goal is to develop just and equitable laws that promote the well-being of society while also respecting individual rights and dignity.
In this context, "Shepherding Criminal Justice" could mean training and equipping legislators, police officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, correctional officials, ex-offenders, and victims, to prioritize community-oriented, empathy, and decarceration strategies. It involves fostering relationships with the communities and addressing issues of bias and discrimination within law enforcement practices.
Applying practical theology to the courts might involve promoting restorative justice principles, ensuring fair and impartial trials, and considering the individual circumstances and needs of both victims and offenders. The emphasis would be on rehabilitation and reintegration rather than solely punitive measures.
In the realm of corrections, "Shepherding Criminal Justice" would emphasize rehabilitation, education, and support for incarcerated individuals. The goal would be to reduce recidivism rates and provide resources for successful reintegration into society upon release.
Instead of solely focusing on punitive measures, the system aims to offer rehabilitation and support to individuals who have committed offenses. This may involve counseling, therapy, educational opportunities, and job training to help reintegrate offenders back into society successfully.
The paradigm strongly emphasizes the needs of victims, providing them with emotional support, resources, and assistance to recover from the harm they experienced.
Restorative justice principles are integral to this approach, encouraging dialogue and reconciliation between victims and offenders to address the harm caused and find ways to make amends.
Communities play a vital role in the "Shepherding Criminal Justice" paradigm. Local support networks, including religious and community leaders, can participate in the healing and restoration process, offering guidance and mentorship.
The paradigm recognizes that criminal behavior is often linked to underlying social issues such as poverty, addiction, mental health, and lack of opportunities. Addressing these root causes is an essential part of the approach.
The goal is to facilitate the successful reintegration of offenders into society, reducing the likelihood of recidivism and promoting a sense of responsibility and accountability.
"Shepherding Criminal Justice" is an approach that seeks to infuse the principles of care, compassion, and practical theology into all aspects of the criminal justice system to promote healing, restoration, and positive transformation for individuals and communities affected by crime and punishment.