In Their Names: The Untold Story of Victims’ Rights, Mass Incarceration, and the Future of Public Safety

New Pr. Nov. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781620977125. $28.99. LAW
Former prosecutor Anderson, a criminal justice advisor and sponsor of California Proposition 47 (which reduced some nonviolent crime penalties), devotes most of her book to violent crime victims. Citing years of discrimination and neglect, she argues that mass incarceration of criminals is not the answer for reducing crime. The author believes that unaddressed trauma predicts future criminality. The goal is to redirect resources. Her group, the Alliance for Safety and Justice, proposes trauma recovery centers, increased civil legal help for victims, and more community workers to assist them as well. Persuasive and well-written for a general audience, the book explains how the United States arrived at a “hierarchy of harm,” in which so-called “good” white victims were preferred over “bad” Black ones. The author cites the San Francisco Trauma Center as an example of a solution. This model of mental health and practical support has spread to other states and has proven successful in reducing recidivism.
VERDICT Supporters of criminal justice reform will enjoy this non-technical plea for change.
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