searching for sensible alternatives

What is "Justice?"

1. The quality of being just; conformity to the principles of righteousness and rectitude in all things; strict performance of moral obligations; practical conformity to human or divine law; integrity in the dealings of men with each other; rectitude; equity; uprightness.

2. Conformity to truth and reality in expressing opinions and in conduct; fair representation of facts respecting merit or demerit; honesty; fidelity; impartiality; as, the justice of a description or of a judgment; historical justice.

3. The rendering to every one his due or right; just treatment; requital of desert; merited reward or punishment; that which is due to one's conduct or motives.
(1913 Webster's Dictionary)

What is "Policy?"

1. A line of argument rationalizing the course of action of a government.

2. A plan of action adopted by an individual or social group.
(2003 WordNet)


Alexander Solzhenitsyn:
Justice is conscience, not a personal conscience but the conscience of the whole of humanity. Those who clearly recognize the voice of their own conscience usually recognize also the voice of justice.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.

Abraham Lincoln:
I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.

Frederick Douglass:
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

Clarence Darrow:
You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.

Gloria Steinem:
Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren't, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.

Marian Wright Edelman:
It's time for greatness -- not for greed. It's a time for idealism -- not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action.

Noam Chomsky:
The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.

This Site

Was created by Kenneth Mentor, J.D., Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina Pembroke. The domain is the home of Dr. Mentor's blog, several learning objects listed in Merlot, and other justice-related content.

This site has been designed for students, educators, policymakers, and others searching for justice. The site is intended to be an alternative to the "nothing works" mentality so prevalent in the U.S. Justice System and throughout criminal justice education. This mentality is a cynical and ineffective response to failed efforts to reform the system.

Instead of giving up, this site encourages progressive change. Dropping the pretense of "neutrality," this site offers a balance to dominant themes as we critically examine alternatives to the status quo.


Death Penalty

Death Penalty

Media and Death Penalty

Capital Punishment remains one of the most controversial issues faced by the justice system. This section includes links to various capital punishment sites. In particular, the death penalty section includes information about web-based advocacy that is focused on ending the death penalty in the United States and throughout the world.

The links above direct visitors to two learning opportunities. The Death Penalty link opens a "shared learning object" that has been adopted by educators looking for ways to encourage students to form their own answers to difficult questions surrounding the death penalty.

The Media and Death Penalty link opens a powerpoint presentation in which a variety of issues are addressed. The presentation is somewhat out of context, but the main point is that media depictions of capital punishment adopt similar themes. Although we are often told these films provide an "anti" view, a closer look indicates dominant themes that support the use of capital punishment.


Civil Liberties

Law and Liberty in a "Secure Homeland"

This learning object has been integrated in a variety of courses that examine civil liberties issues. You are welcome to use this area for learning. If you are an educator you are welcome to use this learning object in your courses.



Dr. Mentor's Justice Blog

Topics of interest include crime, civil liberties, law, learning, web-based scholarship, open access, politics, media, and policy. Although this is a wide range of interests, "justice" is the theme that ties it all together.


War as a Policy Choice
The "War on Drugs" is just one example of the tendency to wage "war" on all sorts of problems. The fact that these problems are not likely to respond to "war" seems to be beside the point. In addition to drugs, we wage wars on terror, crime, and other things that are constructed as social ills. This section of the site, currently under construction, will examine these "wars" and the policies that start them.

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Page Last Modified October 2006