The Pennsylvania OVA: Criminalization, Punishment, And Retribution Under Jennifer Storm (2021) illuminates how the Office of the Victim Advocate under former Commonwealth Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm has functioned as a pro-retribution lobbying arm funded by taxpayers, rather than a department that provides meaningful programming to survivors of violence and impacted communities. The report examines how throughout Storm’s seven-year tenure, the OVA advanced a reactionary anti-criminal justice reform agenda by advocating for harsh punitive legislation and increased criminalization, and opposing rehabilitation and decarceration. Pointing to the data and legislative records left in the wake of Storm’s January 2021 resignation shows that the OVA only spoke for victims when there was an opportunity for punishment and that the agency failed to recognize victims of police brutality, carceral violence, and poverty – who are disproportionately Black – along with crime victims who advocate for healing justice over retribution.
Date of Publication: February 15, 2021
Lead Authors / Contributors: Dolly Prabhu and Jonathan Feingold; design by William Lukas