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America's criminal justice system has a 'hierarchy of harm'

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Lenore Anderson
Praise Santos McKenna
/
The New Press
Lenore Anderson, above, argues that what victims of crime are not getting is a means of addressing their trauma.

Author and community safety advocate points to a system which sees some victims as important and others as not.

Lenore Anderson is a former chief of policy at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and is now an advocate to reduce incarceration and expand community safety programs.

Anderson explained victims of color can be viewed as suspects or as "contributing to their victimization." The founder and president of the Alliance for Safety and Justice also points to instances where victims themselves are arrested for an unrelated crime while reporting what happened to them. In New Orleans, the prosecutor had victims arrested in order to make them testify.

With stories like these happening across the country, Anderson concludes that there "remains an immense amount of discrimination against victims of color in the justice system that has never been adequately confronted or addressed."

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