Thursday, October 17, 2013

Prison: Enemy of Justice

Modern society has a problem. The problem goes to the very core of society, the preservation and promotion of justice. At the center of this problem lies a prison system called to be a promoter of justice, but can only be its destroyer.
Society exists because it provides for the best possible life for individuals within it. Individuals join society, societies coalesce, or societies exist naturally because they provide a place for each individual. They enable the relationships and discourse, and opportunities that make for a fully human life.

Society emerges from relations. The organic or mechanical relations between individuals, groups, and institutions constitute a society. The relations of society and the contributions of each member to the society create rules of engagement for the society. Call it the social order. Order has more than its authoritarian meaning. It has biological meaning. An order naturally collects of smaller units (families) in the animal kingdom in natural, meaningful relationship.

Birthed in the relational nature of society, social order in turn creates authority. Social relation necessarily gives proper authority to the elements involved in the relation. Social order comprises the rules that govern behavior within society for each individual to live a fulfilled life. The proper social order best directs each individual to the best life, a fully human life in the society. Each elemental part of society has the duty to support the social order and the basic authority to defend it. Various elements, individuals and institutions, have various authority proper to themselves determined by the social order.