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This unit exposes the students to some existing laws and their impact on the criminal justice system. The legal system appears to many people to be inherently racist. The lack of representation in the court system leads people of color to perceive that they don’t get fair treatment in the court and that looking to the courts for solutions to civil or criminal complaints is a waste of time. The reciprocity concept of returning something of value to society can be crucial to rehabilitate the typical young offender, who’s not yet into a criminal pattern and has no set lifestyle. The students will choose a trade, keep journals and critique newspaper articles (ones that often call for value judgement).
This unit provides the opportunity to raise sensitivity, and talk about the taboo: discrimination and prejudice in all forms, from racism to homophobia to anti-Semitism.
(Recommended for Social Development and Life Skills, grades 7-12)