Civil policing arrangements aim at restoring justice within the society through the use of social justice structures. Capehart and Milovanovic suggest that the restoration of justice requires the reliability of the social structures and institutions within the society to operate efficiently and autonomously (2007). Further from relying on the social justice systems to punish offenders, members of the society are often asked to become vigilant. However, this has resulted into the sprouting of vigilante groups within the society that take upon themselves to deliver justice.
Being vigilant refers to being extra careful about one’s safety within their immediate environment. This will require the adoption of some safety practices such as walking with a flash light at night or getting home early. By being vigilant, individuals aim at shielding themselves from falling into any imminent danger within their immediate environment. On the other hand, a vigilante is a group composed of individuals that enforce the law on their own accord. Vigilantes seek justice in their self-developed style that is often quite different from the civil laws. Secondly, by being vigilant, an individual does not bestow any powers to punish upon themselves but rather seek to view their immediate environment with more clarity. Vigilantes bestow powers upon themselves by prescribing to other members on the modes of punishment within the society whereby lack of proper social structures could negatively impact on the society. Lastly, vigilantes are a response to a security deficit issue within the society. This deficit results into the unity among the society’s members to bridge the justice gap. However, being vigilant is an individual response in an effort to boost one’s safety (Capeheart & Milovanovic 2007).
Capeheart, L & Milovanovic, D 2007, Social Justice: Theories, Iss. & Mvmts, Rutgers UP, Michigan.