The Proof is in the Pudding. It sounds so simple -- it is revealingly true -- Things are either working or they are not.
When it comes to the Justice System -- It Is NOT Working on a lot of fronts and people know it -- AND a lot of that is it is very cumbersome, complex, expensive and we want it to do just way, way too many things.
Further, we are all about adjudicating disputes between individuals, NOT FIXING SYSTEMS that are creating repeat and multiple problems.
We have created at this point literally thousands of people who feel terribly wronged by the criminal and/or civil justice system AND our answer is usually:
More criminal and/or civil justice system; or
Lump It; or
Talk to your elected representative
Guess what, that's not working for a lot of people, especially a lot of poor people, racial and ethnic minorities and you add on to that an invisible disability -- and it's a mess.
We are trying to address the situation in criminal justice. The State is trying to do a lot -- we need to do a lot more.
There are other situations:
A lot of people have been severely traumatized, sometimes by individuals, sometimes by the State, sometimes both -- It could NOT be more unrealistic to think that trauma is going to dissipate on command, and in fact such notions from my perspective appear re-traumatizing. I'm NOT unsympathetic to "wanting to move on" but I think in certain situations parties need to find some accommodation for what may be a considerably long haul. We are aware of one situation that is so crying out for mediation if the parties are open to it.
Evictions/Invisible Disibilities/Assertive Community Treatment: With the permission of the person, we need to do all we can to ensure the person is NOT subject to eviction.
New research based on brain scans shows that people who care about justice are swayed more by reason than by emotion.
According to Decety, one implication is that the search for justice and the moral missions of human rights organizations and others do not come primarily from sentimental motivations, as they are often portrayed.
Instead, that drive may have more to do with sophisticated analysis and mental calculation.
Decety adds that evaluating good actions elicited relatively high activity in the region of the brain involved in decision-making, motivation, and rewards.
This finding suggests that perhaps individuals make judgments about behavior based on how they process the reward value of good actions as compared to bad actions.
[It seems outdated to view reason and emotion in isolation -- that is certainly not the way I experience it, AND for myself emotion is often the initial fire to try to get to some sophisticated analysis and mental calculation that is going to be needed for purposes of persuasion.]