Danielle Sered, MA, MFA
Danielle Sered has spent her professional career working on innovative strategies to address youth violence through conflict resolution and arts education. She has developed Common Justice with the support of the Vera Institute of Justice after several years of working with court-involved youth.
Prior to starting Common Justice, Danielle designed and launched ArtsReach. Using education through the arts in inner-city Atlanta schools and juvenile detention centers, ArtsReach taught conflict resolution, prejudice reduction and provided information about HIV/AIDS.
She has additional experience with youth justice issues through her time supervising the Youth Justice Project at the Harlem Community Justice Center (a project of the Center for Court Innovation) where she directed the youth court. During this time she also designed and supervised creative writing workshops for juvenile jails and prisons for the PEN American Center.
Danielle served as Interim Director of Community Services at the Adolescent Re-entry Initiative at the Vera Institute. Working with young men returning to the community from Rikers Island jail, she designed and refined work, literacy and case management services for the youth.
Danielle brings personal experience of economic disparity, violence and loss to her work and alongside it a recognition of her extreme privilege as a white person with access to education, and the support of caring adults in her life.
Of the types of cases Common Justice hears, Danielle has been both victim and offender of each and has seen both traditional court-based approaches and more innovative community-based responses to crime. After experiencing firsthand how poorly the system meets the needs of those harmed by crime, Danielle developed a serious commitment to building alternative processes.
Since launching Common Justice, in addition to growing the project through a successful pilot period, Danielle has been named to the Advisory Council for the New York State Office of Victims Services, the Diversity Advisory Committee for the federal Office for Victims of Crime, and the Victims Advisory Board for the New York City Department of Correction. She also sits on the Downstate Coalition for Victims of Crime. She has presented at a number of conferences and public events, including the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Communities and Justice conference sponsored by the New York County District Attorney’s office.
Meet the Fellow
Common Justice is an alternative to incarceration process initiated by Stoneleigh Fellow Danielle Sered. The project seeks to foster healing in communities, promote equity and fairness in the delivery of victims' services, and diminish over reliance on incarceration. The process brings together the harmed parties, the responsible parties (those who committed the crimes), and other community members such as neighbors or family members. These people work with trained facilitators to reach agreements to address the needs of the harmed parties, provide sanctions for the person responsible for the crime, and make things as right as possible for all those involved.