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PACEs in the Criminal Justice System

Discussion and sharing of resources in working with clients involved in the criminal justice system and how screening for and treating ACEs will lead to successful re-entry of prisoners into the community and reduced recidivism for former offenders.

The crime victims’ advocate fighting mass incarceration: ‘How we actually stop violence’ []


Photo: Courtesy of Alliance for Safety and Justice

In a new book, Lenore Anderson says the legal system doesn’t serve most victims or alleviate unaddressed trauma.

For decades, the cause of victims’ rights has been one of the most powerful political movements in the US.

From the 1980s to 2010s, advocates worked with law enforcement to transform the criminal justice system, passing more than 32,000 laws explicitly in the name of victims. Fueled by backlash to the civil rights era, white Americans’ fears of rising crime and hysteria around particularly shocking cases of violence, the policies exponentially grew prison populations. They also created mandatory long and indefinite sentences; locked up youth for life; expanded surveillance; and restricted the rights of defendants and incarcerated people.

In her new book, In Their Names, criminal justice advocate Lenore Anderson argues the traditional victims’ rights movement caused immense harm through mass incarceration and harsh punishments – while fundamentally failing to address survivors’ needs or support public safety.

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If we consider 'Panther Clinics' and other forms of 'Civic Engagement', such as I also witnessed in the South Bronx-where a 'gang' accompanied Resident Pediatric and Internal Medicine Residents who made 'House Calls' in a 'neighborhood' with 100,000 Heroin Addicts at the time, and the prior requirements for admission to the California Honor Prison-before it was closed (Renouncing [violent] Gang Membership; commitment to Non-Violence; etc.), we might not miss the meaning behind George Bernard Shaw's quote: "To Punish a man, you must Injure Him; to Reform a man, You must Improve him; And Men are not improved by Injuries."

Last edited by Robert Olcott
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