Stoneleigh Fellow Danielle Sered explains why restorative justice is often more effective than traditional forms of punishment.
There is a group of people who need us to end mass incarceration more than almost any other: crime survivors.
The idea may sound incongruous. If it does, it is largely because we have a myth in this country that we incarcerate people who commit violence because that’s what victims want.
Underlying that myth is a belief that victims are monolithic group, when in fact they are far more diverse than the public discourse reflects. A young man of color is more than ten times as likely as I am, as a white woman, to be harmed by violence, and yet most of the voices that have informed our understanding of what victims want belong to people like me. What’s more, survivors of all backgrounds often want a far wider array of solutions than those currently on offer in our system. The problem is, we rarely listen to victims, and when we do, we rarely do what they ask.