Imagine a world in which the justice system worked exactly the way you wanted it to. Set a timer for thirty minutes and free-write about this world. This could take several forms–a simple list of crimes and punishments, an idealistic narrative about your uptopian land, or whatever comes pouring out of your head.
You can take one of several approaches as well. You could be totally serious about this, considering each choice carefully. You could be over-the-top and silly, assigning harsh punishments to your pet peeves. You could be realistic or idealistic, taking into account the realities of how the world works or attempting to design a world in which things work the way you wish they would.
You rarely want to dump an “ideal” justice system into a world wholesale (it tends to look rather transparent, so unless you’re trying to be transparent about it folks tend to roll their eyes, particularly since plenty of them won’t agree with your conclusions). However, this exercise is still great for getting the thoughts going. Once you get all your “I wish” justice-system thoughts out of your system and onto paper, it’s often easier to set them aside and start building a justice system for your world that reflects it instead of you, and that takes the ‘realities’ of that world into account.