In the United States, violence and mass incarceration are deeply entwined, though evidence shows that both can decrease at the same time. A new vision is needed to meaningfully address violence and reduce the use of incarceration—and to promote healing among crime survivors and improve public safety. This report describes four principles to guide policies and practices that aim to reduce violence: They should be survivor-centered, based on accountability, safety-driven, and racially equitable.
The country cannot incarcerate its way out of violence. As a violence intervention strategy, prison fails to deliver the safety, justice, and accountability all people deserve, and at great human and financial cost. Increasingly, this message is being shared not only by justice reformers, but by crime survivors themselves.
It is essential to reduce violence and incarceration. Data show that both can happen at the same time.
A new vision for justice must address violence in its community and historical contexts and in a way that honors all crime survivors and insists on racial equity.
To reduce violence and mass incarceration, we must prioritize safety over politics.
A Justice Strategies/Harvard study showed that over 10 years, serious crime in NYC fell by 58% while the incarceration rate decreased by 55%.
A full 52% of victims of violent crime do not report to the police. Many attribute this to a belief that the police could not or would not do anything to help.
In a recent national survey, 69% of survivors said they would prefer holding people accountable through options beyond prison, such as rehabilitation, mental health or drug treatment, or community supervision.
Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm
Addressing Disparities in Our Responses to Violence
Despite growing recognition of the disproportionate rates of young men of color caught up in the criminal justice system, little recognition is given to the fact that young men of color are also more likely to be the victims of crime and violence. This issue brief details the lack of support available to young men of color who experience trauma, as...
Black Wounds Matter
The New Yorker explores crime survivors’ stake in justice reform
The Case for Diversion / Race and Justice in America
Danielle Sered, Director of Common Justice, with Scott Stossel, The Atlantic