Lenore Anderson - "In Their Names" - Jehan Gordon-Booth and Robert Peters

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Lenore Anderson

Lenore Anderson will discuss In Their Names: The Untold Story of Victims’ Rights, Mass Incarceration, and the Future of Public Safety. She will be joined in conversation by Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth, State Senator Robert Peters, and Bertha Purnell. The conversation will be moderated by Randolph Stone.

This event will be held in person at The Seminary Co-op. At this time, masks are required for in-store events.


About the book: “The fact that decades of increased investments in criminal justice have been justified in service of protecting victims of crime, when most crime victims haven’t seen the justice system offer any real protection or help, is perhaps the most sinister aspect and irony of mass incarceration.” —from the introduction by Lenore Anderson

In In Their Names, Lenore Anderson, president of one of the nation’s largest reform advocacy organizations, offers a close look at how the political call to help victims in the 1980s morphed into a demand for bigger bureaucracies and more incarceration, and cemented the long- standing chasm that exists between most victims and the justice system. She argues that the powerful myth that mass incarceration benefits victims obscures recognition of what most victims actually need, including addressing their trauma, which is a leading cause of subsequent violent crime. A solutions-oriented, paradigm-shifting book, In Their Names argues persuasively for closing the gap between our public safety systems and crime survivors.

About the author: Lenore Anderson, is the founder and president of the Alliance for Safety and Justice, which has won reforms to reduce incarceration and expand community safety programs across the country. She is a former chief of policy at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, former director of public safety for the Oakland mayor, and the recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award and the American Bar Association’s Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award. She was a 2020 Social Entrepreneurs in Residence (SEERS) fellow at Stanford University. This is her first book. She lives with her family in Oakland, California.

About the panelists: 
Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth:
Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth is a community activist, mother and full-time legislator serving the people of Illinois’ 92nd district. She is a proud daughter of Peoria and the first African-American woman ever to be elected to represent the central region of the state in the Illinois General Assembly. In January of 2015, she became, again the first African-American woman from Central Illinois to serve the state as Assistant Majority Leader of the House Democratic Party. Rep. Gordon-Booth is still a proud resident of Peoria where she lives today with her best friend and husband Coach Derrick Booth and their two year old daughter, Jianna. Currently, pushing for a state budget and reforming and revitalizing our state’s outdated criminal justice system is Rep. Gordon-Booth’s primary focus. She played a major role in the Illinois Neighborhood Safety Act which increased trauma support services for victims of violent crime and established trauma recovery centers in Illinois.

State Senator Robert Peters: Senator Peters is the senator for the 13th Senate District in the City of Chicago. It borders Wrigleyville on the north and 95th Street to the south, Wabash Avenue on the west and Lake Michigan on the east. He is a proud South Sider and an even prouder Chicagoan and still resides in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Peters began his career in community advocacy as an organizer, where he successfully fought to require Cook County judges to set affordable bail amounts for all defendants, leading to a substantial reduction in the Cook County Jail population since it took effect in July 2017. As a state senator, Peters helped pass several key pieces of public safety legislation including the Reimagine Public Safety Act as well as authoring the component of a larger package that ended the system of wealth based detention in Illinois. 

Bertha Purnell: Bertha Purnell is the founder and CEO of Mothers OnA Mission28. She is also the Chicago (Austin Area) chapter coordinator for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, a national network of crime survivors joining together to create healing communities and shape public safety policy - a flagship project of Alliance for Safety and Justice. Bertha was a practicing nurse for over 40 years until the murder of her youngest son Maurice in 2017. She now works with and for survivors fighting for legislation changes that reflect the needs and voices of survivors.

About the moderator: Randolph Stone, is a retired law professor and former public defender currently on the boards of the Safer Foundation and the Federal Defender Program.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637