Both Experience Trauma
The MacArthur Foundation’s Safety & Justice Challenge (SJC), active in 34 counties and four cities across the country, aims to develop and
implement progressive criminal justice reforms to safely reduce jail and prison populations and address racial disparities.
The National Center for Victims of Crime (National Center) joined the SJC as a strategic ally to ensure criminal justice reformers incorporate crime victims' and survivors’ experiences by giving their voices equal consideration. The National Center has held a series of round tables, victim focus groups, webinars in various locations around the country with victim service and criminal justice professionals, and more.
As a result of its efforts, the National Center gathered data showing what it already knew -- criminal justice system dichotomies and labels such as "victim," "perpetrator," and "offender" are inaccurate, unjust, and not representative of the real-life experiences of individuals, families, and communities affected by crime. All individuals, regardless of their pathway to interaction with the justice system, may live with trauma and victimization (for more on this, watch our video series here). As a result, these individuals need quality service responses and trauma-informed care.
Many crime victims are open to progressive, equitable ideas for reforming our criminal justice system. Our research shows for victims to be supportive of reforms, certain principles must be embedded in reforms. As a result, the National Center sought to ensure this and amplify victims' voices through a set of eight principles intended to inform justice reformers of the needs and experiences of victims and the specific policy and procedural changes needed for victims to feel respected and heard. Read our principles here and explore our resources page for more.
BY A MARGIN OF 2 TO 1,
VICTIMS PREFER THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
FOCUSES MORE ON REHABILITATION
BY A MARGIN OF 3 TO 1,
VICTIMS PREFER HOLDING PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE THROUGH OPTIONS BEYOND PRISON, SUCH AS MENTAL HEALTH AND DRUG TREATMENT, COMMUNITY SUPERVISION, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
BY A MARGIN OF 15 TO 1,
VICTIMS PREFER INCREASED INVESTMENTS IN SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION THAN PRISONS AND JAILS
Read the entire report, Crime Survivors Speak.