Task Force: Reform the Justice System
The federal committee of crime has elected you to recreate and reform the justice system in the United States. This means you will be in charge of designing and brainstorming the implementation of an entirely new justice system.
Why Are We Doing This?
The criminal justice system is designed to manage accused and convicted criminals. There are various forms of punishment such as restorative (reaffirming a shared value consensus) and retributive (imposition of punishment). In recent years, there has been both criticism against and support for the structures of the United States’ system of justice. Here, we ask you to consider the claim that the United States justice system needs to be reformed to better fit the needs of its citizens and accordingly try to redesign its controversial structures.
- Before you begin, research different aspects of the justice system in the United States. What are some areas for reform/improvement? What characteristics of the system have been critiqued and why?
- Then, try to create a plan to implement a new and reformed justice system in the United States. Consider different kinds of crimes, various punishments for those crimes, and how you plan to enforce new and reformed rules. The plan should be a well-detailed description of what aspects of the current system are flawed, and how your group plans to tackle those issues.
- What are some controversial aspects of the United States’ system of justice?
- Which do you and your group believe need to be most reformed? How do you plan on reforming those parts of the system?
- How do you feel about solitary confinement?
- How do you feel about the death penalty?
- How does the current justice system disproportionately target certain groups of people? How do you plan to address that?
- Think through the possible objections about your reformed justice system that someone could have and how you would answer them.
- What aspects of your plan might cause disagreements?
- How do you plan to convince the committee that the controversial components of your plan are necessary?
- Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your design of a new and improved justice system best adheres to the current unheard needs and wants of the public.
Things to Keep in Mind
- You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of reformed features for your justice system. Focus on a few that you feel most confident defending.
- Brainstorm ideas that could be realistically implemented by the justice system.