This memo holds guidance for engaging strategic audiences in conversations about how to address violence and those who have been accused of or convicted of violence in the U.S. The recommendations here emerge from a thought partnership between the Opportunity Agenda, which has extensive expertise in communications and messaging, and Common Justice, which has a decade of experience working on and talking about violence and repair. To download the full memo, click here.
Fostering Accountability Among Young Adults: Restorative Justice as a Developmentally Targeted Intervention
Young adults are capable of causing both relatively trivial and very serious harm. They are also, as we continue to learn, uncommonly capable of change. Our challenge, then, is to identify strategies that increase the likelihood of positive transformation. Much of the recent research on adolescent development, particularly from developmental psychology and brain science, has led to calls for mercy for young adults who cause harm.
The United States faces two distinct but interconnected challenges: violence and mass incarceration.
Toward a Humane, Event-Centered Language for Talking about People Involved in Crime and Violence.
The Marshall Project
One of the myths of criminal justice reform is that you can cut the prison population in half by freeing non-violent offenders: the guy who sold a little weed to his classmates, the shoplifter, people who have done stupid things but aren't necessarily scary. As you know, more than half of those who are incarcerated are there for violent crimes, and many of those who are sentenced for nonviolent crimes plead down from more serious charges. These are people who frighten us — and they really frighten politicians. You want us to think differently about them. Explain.
The Only Way To Tackle Mass Incarceration Is To Address The Issue Of Those Convicted Of Violent Offenses
Violence And Redemption, TakePart's Big Issue Vol. 11
Maximizing the Potential of VOCA Funding for Underserved Survivors
We are at a moment of extraordinary opportunity for victims of crime. In 2015, the federal budget for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds increased by $1.6 billion—from $745 million to $2.361 billion.1 These funds represent the single largest source of funding for victim services in the United States. An increase of this size is unprecedented for VOCA.
Toward a Framework for Serving All Survivors of Crime
Our media, our culture, and even some of our statutes continually reinforce the idea that in order to be deserving of care, a victim of crime has to be innocent. Sometimes innocence is tied to some intangible yet narrow notion of purity that our culture uses to assign value and, most often, recognize vulnerability. Sometimes innocence is a matter for the courts, the opposite of legally determined guilt.