How just is the justice system?

What is the relationship of the criminal justice system to social justice? Scholars invested in gender equality, decolonization, anti-racism, and social justice argue that retributive models of justice that emphasize crime and punishment exacerbate inequality. In fact, critical prison studies scholars in the United States argue that the prison system is a continuation of slavery. Of the Canadian prison system, political theorist Robert Nichols argues that incarceration is a fundamental part of the settler-colonial project of land theft. Do you think working towards social justice requires re-thinking prisons? Why or why not? These are the questions we would like you to discuss for this module.


  1. Reflect on your thinking about prisons: where did you learn about prisons and their role in achieving justice? Analyze your views: are they informed by retributive, restorative, or transformative approaches to justice? How has this lesson challenged your views? Explain how or how not by referencing specific course resources and lessons. Explain all concepts you use.

2. Do you think working toward social justice requires re-thinking prisons? Why or why not? In your response, refer to the reading by Angela Davis as well as examples from other assigned resources from the course. Make sure to define all concepts you use.

Remember to check into eClass to submit upcoming activities and assignments, participate in the discussion board, and communicate with your instructor.

%d bloggers like this: