Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, Road to Repair, by Danielle Sered
PUBLISHED BY NEW PRESS, 2020
In a book HuffPost calls "a clarion call," Danielle Sered, the executive director of Common Justice and widely recognized as one of the leading proponents of a restorative approach to violent crime, offers alternatives to incarceration that both meet the needs of survivors and create pathways for people who have committed violence to repair the harm they caused.
Although over half the people incarcerated in America today have committed violent offenses, the focus of reformers has been almost entirely on nonviolent and drug offenses. Called "innovative" and "truly remarkable" by The Atlantic and "a top-notch entry into the burgeoning incarceration debate" by Kirkus Reviews, Sered's Until We Reckon argues with searing force and clarity that our communities are safer the less we rely on prisons and jails as a solution for wrongdoing.
Sered asks us to reconsider the purposes of incarceration and argues persuasively that the needs of survivors of violent crime are better met by asking people who commit violence to accept responsibility for their actions and make amends in ways that are meaningful to those they have hurt--none of which happens in the context of a criminal trial or a prison sentence. Critically, Sered argues that the reckoning owed is not only on the part of those who have committed violence, but also by our nation's overreliance on incarceration to produce safety--at great cost to communities, survivors, racial equity, and the very fabric of our democracy.