Lenore Anderson, founder of the national organization Alliance for Safety and Justice, has won the American Society of Criminology's annual president's award. The honor was announced Friday by ASC president Janet Lauritsen of the University of Missouri St. Louis at the society's annual meeting, this year in Atlanta. Anderson was co-author of Proposition 47, a 2014 California ballot initiative to reduce incarceration and reallocate prison spending to mental health, drug treatment, K-12 programs and victim services. It marked the first time voters elected to reclassify many sections of the penal code to reduce incarceration and reallocate state money from prisons to communities. More than half a billion dollars has been reallocated from state prisons to community-based public safety programs. She served on the executive committee for California’s Proposition 57 to expand prison rehabilitation and earned credit for release and Florida’s Amendment 4 to provide voting eligibility to people with old criminal records. Anderson earlier was Chief of Policy and Chief of the Alternative Programs Division at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Accepting the award, Anderson told criminologists that there has been much progress in reforming the criminal justice system, but there remains a "shocking lack of concern for victims of crime." She said the "system does not protect all victims of crime equally," and said that some victims have been "criminalized" themselves. Anderson discussed her newly published book, "In Their Names: The Untold Story of Victims’ Rights, Mass Incarceration, and the Future of Public Safety," where she argues that victims rights has been consistently invoked to justify mass incarceration. She said that overall, "the law and order agenda has hurt more victims than it has helped."