"This timely book reveals an explosive truth: mass incarceration--built in the names of crime victims--doesn't serve their true interests. Instead of longer prison sentences, Lenore Anderson shows how most victims want and need a new approach to safety, rooted in healing, care, and redress. In Their Names deserves a wide audience, from policy-makers to ordinary citizens alike." -- James Forman Jr., Yale Law School professor and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Locking Up Our Own
"This book is a game-changer, taking what we think we know about crime victims and public safety and turning it on its head. Chock-full of breakthrough insights, compelling stories, compassion, and clarity, this urgent call for a new justice system is a must-read for everyone who cares about safety." -- Van Jones, CNN contributor and host of Uncommon Ground
"A startling wake-up call to the grave mistakes the nation has made in revictimizing victims. Masterfully written, the book's moving stories will inspire anyone to reevaluate our culture's definition of safety and its concrete steps will provide a way forward to a more humane future. It should be required reading. Brava, Lenore Anderson!" -- Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life and author of Becoming Ms. Burton
In Their Names busts open the public safety myth that uses victims' rights to perpetuate mass incarceration, and offers a formula for what would actually make us safe, from the widely respected head of Alliance for Safety and Justice
When twenty-six-year-old recent college graduate Aswad Thomas was days away from starting a professional basketball career in 2009, he was shot twice while buying juice at a convenience store. The trauma left him in excruciating pain, with mounting medical debt, and struggling to cope with deep anxiety and fear. That was the same year the national incarceration rate peaked. Yet, despite thousands of new tough-on-crime policies and billions of new dollars pumped into "justice," Aswad never received victim compensation, support, or even basic levels of concern. In the name of victims, justice bureaucracies ballooned while most victims remained on their own.
In In Their Names, Lenore Anderson, president of one of the nation's largest reform advocacy organizations, offers a close look at how the political call to help victims in the 1980s morphed into a demand for bigger bureaucracies and more incarceration, and cemented the long- standing chasm that exists between most victims and the justice system. She argues that the powerful myth that mass incarceration benefits victims obscures recognition of what most victims actually need, including addressing their trauma, which is a leading cause of subsequent violent crime.
A solutions-oriented, paradigm-shifting book, In Their Names argues persuasively for closing the gap between our public safety systems and crime survivors.
In Their Names: The Untold Story of Victims' Rights, Mass Incarceration, and the Future of Public Safety (Hardcover)
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