From slavery to lynching, mass incarceration, & the death penalty | Reimagining Justice This Month

Reimagining Justice This Month highlights stories about effective responses to violence – responses that disrupt cycles of violence, heal trauma, and address structural racism.

A Visit to Montgomery’s Legacy MuseumThe New Yorker
Recently, EJUSA staff  visited the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL, to reflect upon history of and present-day structures of racism in the United States. This article highlights the experiences of two friends – one black and one white – visiting the museum and reflecting upon the intimate connections between slavery, lynching, mass incarceration, and the death penalty. For the authors, moving through the Memorial is as much a reckoning with the nation’s history as it is a recognition of personal connections, past, present, and future.

In Detroit’s busiest ER, a man with his own dark past tries to halt a cycle of violence, The Los Angeles Times
This profile of Ray Winans, whose life experience drives him to disrupt cycles of violence, illuminates the deep and lasting effects of community-wide trauma, as well as the hope and possibility that comes from treating violence as the public health crisis it is. This spotlight on the incredible work of one of our Trauma Network members shows the challenges and possibilities of reimagining justice as responses to violence that are focused on healing and wellbeing across a range of systems. Continue Reading →

“Restoring Lost Trust”

USA Today and our friends at the Marshall Project made a great video about our program in Newark, which is bridging communities of color and police and breaking cycles of trauma. Please take a moment to watch the video and share it with your family and friends.

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Who Has Access to Healing?

Reimagining Justice This Month highlights stories about effective responses to violence – responses that disrupt cycles of violence, heal trauma, and address structural racism.

States Set Aside Millions of Dollars for Crime Victims. But Some Gun Violence Survivors Don’t Get the Funds They Desperately Need, The Trace
Elizabeth Van Brocklin asserts that all victims – whether harmed by mass shootings or neighborhood gun violence – should receive the support they need in the wake of tragedy. She points out the lack of services for those injured in incidents of gun violence, who are disproportionately young black men. Now, Van Brocklin says, some states are beginning to improve access and funds for underserved victims.

Can Police Change Their Mindset from Warriors to Guardians?, The Crime Report
A Fordham Law School panel highlights the recurring tragedy of police-caused homicides in the U.S. One panel member contends that these tragedies should be addressed by “reengineering” police procedures and trainings in ways that encourages them to save lives, not take them.

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What Happened to Crime in Camden? | Reimagining Justice This Month

Reimagining Justice This Month highlights stories about effective responses to violence – responses that disrupt cycles of violence, heal trauma, and address structural racism.

What Happened to Crime in Camden?, CityLab
Five years ago, the police department in Camden, NJ was disbanded, reimagined, and born again with fewer officers, lower pay, and a strategic shift toward community policing. In 2017, they had their lowest homicide rate since the 1980s.

‘Bold step’: King County to look at youth crime as public-health risk, The Seattle Times
King County, WA, home of Seattle, announced that its Juvenile Detention Services will aim to create a “trauma-informed” approach to incarcerated youth. The ultimate goal is zero youth incarceration: “Credible research suggests that we can reduce crime by bringing a rehabilitative, public health approach to juvenile justice.” Continue Reading →

Watch our transformative work in Newark

Last week, The Grio published an amazing video featuring our program in Newark, which brings police and communities of color together to break barriers and fight to change police culture and behavior. Please take a moment to watch the video, and then share it with your friends and family.

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Newark Healing Community Meeting – January 13

In the past two years, hundreds of community residents and police officers have spent hours exchanging stories about their own trauma and learning about the trauma of the other.

Join us for an action session that highlights our work and identifies opportunities to break the cycles of violence and trauma in Newark to:

  • Improve community-police relations
  • Support the healing of trauma in our community
  • Break the cycle of violence

Continue Reading →

Ending the death penalty by elevating voices of color | Reimagining Justice This Month

Reimagining Justice This Month highlights stories about effective responses to violence – responses that disrupt cycles of violence, heal trauma, and address structural racism.

“Justice from Within: The Death Penalty and a New Vision for Criminal Justice through a Racial Justice Lens,” Nonprofit Quarterly
In a new article, EJUSA’s Fatimah Loren Muhammad highlights the history of racial bias in the application of the death penalty and the evolution of EJUSA’s work to end the death penalty by elevating voices of color. She also offers insights into the kinds of transformative internal work that allows EJUSA to more fully engage in racial justice campaigns and work toward our new vision for justice, centered in racial equity and healing.

“L.A. Leads in New Approach for Juveniles Who Have Committed Felonies,” The Chronicle for Social Change
In a historic move, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a plan for diverting tens of thousands of youth from the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The plan aims to connect youth with a comprehensive array of supportive services – education, employment, housing, healthcare and more – at a fraction of what it would cost to lock them up. Continue Reading →

EJUSA’s Police-Community trauma trainings featured on local New Jersey TV

Our program in Newark aims to bridge the divide between police and communities of color to foster learning, healing, and action. Local PBS news station NJTV visited a recent training and captured both sides sharing their stories, break down barriers, and beginning to build trust.

See the full story at NJTV Online.

EJUSA Receives $150,000 Grant from Andrus Family Fund

EJUSA is pleased to announce that it has received a $150,000 grant from Andrus Family Fund. The grant will support our Police/Community Initiative on Trauma-Informed Responses to Violence, a project currently piloting in Newark, New Jersey. The project focuses on changing police policies and practices by using the analysis and frame of trauma to create the necessary space to shift narratives about violence, create empathy and mutual understanding, and lay the foundation for a healing justice system.

The Police/Community Initiative begins with trauma training and builds towards advocacy to implement police reforms. In the training, police and community members develop mutual understanding of the links between unaddressed trauma and involvement in the justice system, the impact of trauma on responses to violence, the impact of PTSD on officer use of force, and historical trauma such as slavery.

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Healing for Vegas | Reimagining Justice This Month

Reimagining Justice This Month highlights stories about effective responses to violence – responses that disrupt cycles of violence, heal trauma, and address structural racism.
“Healing for Vegas,” The Marshall Project
EJUSA Executive Director Shari Silberstein reminds us that the survivors of the unthinkable violence in Las Vegas will have extensive and varying needs in order to recover from their trauma. “If we’re serious about supporting the survivors of Vegas, we would make sure every one of them has ongoing access to trauma and mental health services. We would ensure that those services were culturally appropriate and geographically accessible. We would support their financial and logistical needs while they rebuild their lives. We would respect their need for information, the desire some have for privacy and others for interaction. We would recognize there is no timeline for healing, or support.”

“Trauma is real for Newark residents and police,” The Star-Ledger 
Since 2016, EJUSA has trained nearly 200 NJ residents in our Police/Community Initiative on Trauma-Informed Responses to Violence trainings in Newark. The trainings encourage honest, open dialogue about race, policing, and community engagement from various perspectives. This story highlights the powerful storytelling and the moments of mutual understanding that have become hallmarks of our program: “Both sides understood each other’s plight on Tuesday as they took the first step toward bridging a chasm that has widened from years of mistrust.” Continue Reading →