Reimagining Justice This Month highlights stories about effective responses to violence – responses that disrupt cycles of violence, heal trauma, and address structural racism.
Vice’s in-depth Charlottesville video is a horrifying look at hatred, The Boston Globe
Our country watched white nationalists descend upon Charlottesville, VA, to deliver messages of hate and bigotry. Vice’s viral 20 minute documentary, “Charlottesville: Race and Terror,” provides an on-the-ground picture of this dark historical moment: “Vice doesn’t lose track of what really happened over the weekend — the domestic terrorism, the chants of ‘Jews will not replace us,’ the police in full gear. The piece does not skimp on the horrors, including footage of the car plowing into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. We see a black woman bowing in despair and disbelief after the crash, letting out a grief-stricken scream.” EJUSA condemns white supremacy, white nationalism, and violent extremism in all forms. We are fighting to create a world in which violence is rare, and there is racial justice and healing.
Statement Opposing the President’s Comments Encouraging Use of Force Against Members of our Community, National Juvenile Justice Network
EJUSA joined with several other justice organizations to condemn President Trump’s comments to law enforcement officers late last month, in which encouraged the use of force against community members.
Why Rising Police Budgets Aren’t Making Cities Safer, Next City
The Center for Popular Democracy looked at 12 major cities, analyzing budgets and talking to community members. Their conclusion: cities pour a staggering level of funds into police departments, often neglecting glaring community development needs which have proven public safety outcomes.
Fighting for ‘Common Justice,’ For Crime Victims and Their Perpetrators, The Takeaway, WNYC
Common Justice “develops and advances solutions to violence that transform the lives of those harmed and foster racial equity without relying on incarceration.” In this interview, Danielle Sered, Executive Director, offers compelling insights about the end of mass incarceration, understanding what survivors really want as a key component of public safety, and the future of justice reform in America. EJUSA is proud to have partnered with our friends at Common Justice to bring racial equity to victim services.
Cops Get Help to Cope With Trauma, Stateline from The Pew Charitable Trusts
Police officers typically don’t talk about the horrible things they witness, nor the impact this trauma may have on their choices to use force, escalate interactions with civilians, or do harm to themselves or their families. As a result, their trauma could put them, and the community they serve, at risk. This article examines a program that offers mental health counseling to officers, though more needs to be done to address the trauma that police officers face. In EJUSA’s Newark, NJ pilot of Police/Community Initiative on Trauma-Informed Responses to Violence, we find that police and community participants are calling for both increased trauma care for officers as well as greater trauma care for the communities they serve.
Families of victims question criteria for crime funds, The Detroit News
Jennifer Williams’ grandson was shot and killed while playing basketball in a part of Detroit residents call “dead man’s alley.” Now she’s wondering why a state-provided fund for crime victims wouldn’t help her bury him. Williams is involved with Mothers of Murdered Children, an organization in Detroit with which EJUSA has worked for over a year, helping them build their capacity and prepare to apply for federal grant funding.
Liberals often blame mass incarceration on the war on drugs. That’s not quite right. Vox
A new report by the Urban Institute suggests it’s not low-level drug sentences that really helped cause higher imprisonment rates in the U.S., but rather sentences for violent crimes. Reimagining our justice system will require transforming the ways in which we respond to violence.
The Vision our country needs is up to us common folk, Medium
Dr. Rita S Fierro, EJUSA’s evaluation consultant for our police-community trauma initiative, links the current triggering of collective trauma to broader opportunities to transform how we address trauma country-wide. Rita’s forthcoming book, Gimme Back My Child!, centers the voices of mothers of color to explore the intersection of the foster care system, the criminal justice system, and other systems to reveal narratives of trauma, injustice, and loss. A growing movement compares the collateral damage of mass incarceration to that of the removal of children from their parents in the foster system, what some call “The New Jane Crow” child-industrial complex.