Over the past few classes we’ve been grappling with an overall question: Is justice blind? We’ve debated it. We’ve read about it. We’ve even put a school context around it (sorry for all the burpees, boys!).
Through our discussions I get the sense that justice isn’t blind. We’ve talked about the reasons why that’s a bad thing–and I’ll share with you a revealing, but emotionally challenging story below–but sometimes this is a good thing.
I know, I know.
We’ll work through this: Indeed, as you may have sensed, the Youth Criminal Justice Act is anything BUT blind. There is a double standard for youth. Much of this unit will examine that. We’ll also look at other actors in the justice system.
But for now: The bad.
A revealing piece for Macleans argues that Canada’s prisons are an extension–maybe even a replacement–for our Residential Schools past.
At every step, discriminatory practices and a biased system work against an Indigenous accused, from the moment a person is first identified by police, to their appearance before a judge, to their hearing before a parole board. The evidence is unambiguous: If you happen to be Indigenous, justice in Canada is not blind.
This one’s worth a read if you have the time and can stomach it. There’s lots of data and it definitely removes some stereotypes.