At one thirty a.m. that night, I still couldn’t sleep. It’s an odd feeling—so much drama and the 911 calls, and the flashing lights—all of it with the goal of putting those two kids behind bars. As I was putting my kids to bed, my seven year old said proudly “Did you hear, mom, the policeman said that without you they wouldn’t have been able to put the robbers in jail!”
The next day I was sitting, head down, staring into space. Thinking that stealing a car and getting away with it is probably even worse for a kid than stealing a getting in mounds of trouble, but…
Gary looked over and said “There’s words for the thing you’re looking for, you know.”
"What?" I asked.
"The words. For what would have been better. It’s called Restorative Justice."
I’m glad they have those words. Because it turns out “catching” is a terrible word. It’s become about chasing and punishment and “robbers”.
Catching. I wish it meant like you do when someone is falling.
It is not satisfying at all to be responsible for putting someone in jail. I would way rather be responsible for keeping them out.
I'm the author of the novel Angel and a dozen other books on topics ranging from Elvis Impersonation to the science behind annoying things. My most recent non-fiction title was "Broke is Beautiful."
The San Francisco Chronicle said, "Lee's dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion… She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible."
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