Should the criminal justice system directly focus on order and public safety or indiviuals rights?Should the criminal justice system directly focus on order and public safety or indiviuals rights?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree that public safety and individual rights are linked.  The legal system should be designed to protect public safety, but not to the extent that it limits individual rights too much.  People are often willing to give up rights for safety.  It is not necessary to completely infringe on individual rights in the name of public safety, but to a certain extent individuals will have to give up some rights.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I am not sure that you can separate the two, we have to be able to ensure the safety of all people, yet we need to protect the individual rights of everyone. I think that sometimes it comes down to an issue of what is best for society as a whole. I do not support trampling on individuals rights, but if it is going to provide safety for the rest of us by doing so, I am not sure it is wrong.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Clearly, the system of criminal justice must focus on both of these things.  It absolutely must strike a balance between order and safety on the one hand and rights on the other.

Of course, the system must focus on public safety.  People have the right, for example, to be safe in their homes and possessions.  The justice system must preserve this right.

On the other hand, this right does not override all others.  In other words, the justice system could prevent murders by confining all people who are likely to commit murder.  But this would be a gross violation of people's rights.

Therefore, the system cannot simply focus on one or the other.  It must strike a balance between two competing, but vital, goals.

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