Monday’s class allowed me to understand alternative dispute resolution in a different way. Alternative dispute resolution also known as mediation was beginning to look rather useless to me. I felt it was a system in which no real answers were solved. I guess when I was looking for truth and justice I did not really know what or where to look for it. Professor Ammon suggested that mediation could help troubled kids in communities by attempting to not lock them into a life of crime. This was a new revelation to me and I thought the Idea was worth repeating. Instead of punishing kids or young adults in the court systems for minor or even medium level crimes it may be wiser for them to be involved in a community run mediation system. For instance if a 17 year old young man was caught stealing at a convenience store instead of possibly arresting or fining the child why not find a solution where both parties can benefit. Instead maybe the child could be required to work for a weekend cleaning up a nearby park and the government could then give the money he would have earned to the store owner to replace damaged goods. After the child successfully completed the work his record could be wiped clean and he could return to a more normal life. Punishing every nonviolent-non major law breaker will undoubtedly have the effect of making some of those punished career criminals. Obviously it would be unwise to allow people to abuse the system and complete one small crime after another, do work and then be given a clean slate. The line would have to be drawn somewhere. Also, not only should these programs provide work for the offenders but they should also provide hope. It would be wise to counsel the offenders and possibly provide programs where they can learn a skill to better themselves. There is always more than one way to handle a problem and government controlled punishment should not be the only way to solve every crime.

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