Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Touching Spirit Bear Litspiration Challenge 1

Hello readers! In class, we are currently reading a book called Touching Spirit Bear and we are also learning about the YCJA or Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Throughout his life, Cole was abused by his father and he had no support at home.  As a result, he took his anger out on others around him similar to his father.   Cole had committed crimes before in his life and had used many excuses and lies in order to escape jail.  The victim of Cole’s anger, Peter, suffered from assault and was left with slurred speech and other damages to both his physical and mental state.  He did not deserve this, as he was only standing up for what he thought was the right thing to do.  This crime was an intent to hurt Peter and Cole was basing it off of his anger, his non-supportive parents, and his anger for this game of life.  Later in the book, when the Healing Circle banished him to an island off the coast of Alaska.  The hardships of living on this island and the helplessness that he experienced caused him to think about his fake power making others fear him.  On the verge of death after being attacked by the Spirit Bear, Cole later asks himself if he had a purpose in life and if his existence was just to become fertilizer for the soil or food for the seagulls.  He realized that he did not want to die and from that point he started to turn in a different direction.

If I was apart of Cole’s Justice circle, I would consider the different circumstances that he had dealt with in his past.  When deciding on consequences, YCJA attempts to make it beneficial to the offender so they will not commit this crime again.  They consider the seriousness of the offence, their history, their attitude, and the circumstances of the person.  When Cole returned from the island, his attitude completely changed.  He thought to himself that he would only tell the truth and that would be the only proof that he needed.  Originally hot headed and quick tempered, Cole realizes that his attitude had hurt many people and had taken away their meaning for living.  Since the consequence was considered somewhat successful in changing his direction, this would also be a factor in deciding what would happen after.  Despite what had happened on the island, he still could not change the fact that Peter will be impacted by his actions for the rest of his life.  Assault is considered a fairly serious crime and because of this, it will impact how severe the consequence is.  Based off of the book, Cole’s life has been very difficult.  His abuses him while his mother drinks alcohol to ignore the constant suffering that Cole experiences.  In Cole’s case, the abuse that he faced was the main cause of his anger and the reason he felt the need to control everyone and everything by using fear alone.  When he was attacked by the Spirit Bear, he provoked it by trying to kill it because it did not fear him.  At that moment in time, Cole realized that he was helpless in comparison.  He was like the baby birds in the tree begging for a simple thing like life.  Since he had started to travel in a different direction and became successful in realizing the damages he caused, the consequences should not be as harsh.  Although this does not change what had happened in the past, he should still gain that support and be reintegrated into his community.

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