CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

LET’S FACE IT, WE DO NOT TREAT ALL PARTS OF OUR SOCIETY THE SAME. IT’S TIME TO COMPLETELY TRANSFORM OUR BROKEN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.

 

Some communities see investment of resources: good schools, nice parks, youth centers, and health services. Others only see significant investment in police and prisons. It’s a system that only widens the chasm between the haves and the have-nots, and as we know, the investment choices are frequently racialized. Policing has been used to build a system of control over the lives of working people—especially Black and brown people—while corporate, so-called “white collar” (and typically white-skinned) criminals are handed “get out of jail free” cards. We have an entire sector of public employees who refuse to be held accountable to any degree. These same officials are given the power to lock people away in prisons that then draw profits off of the incarceration of our communities. There is no doubt that we have to vastly reimagine our criminal justice system by centering racial justice and investing in rehabilitation, police accountability, and our most marginalized and exploited communities.

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RECENT CRIMINAL JUSTICE HEADLINES:

 

In the most basic possible terms, two wrongs don’t make a right. Police forces in Las Vegas and across their country have overstepped their bounds and inflicted long lasting damage on our communities. We’ve seen time and time again that policing is not a one-stop-solution to our community’s problems. For our community to prosper, we must divest from our police force and invest in our long-term needs: healthcare, housing, education, and real supportive services. Further, we must hold out of control police officers accountable and end qualified immunity. It is unconscionable in 2021 that we still execute those on death row. We must immediately pass federal legislation to abolish the death penalty. 

The racist federal war on drugs that has criminalized Black and brown people and driven multi-generational trauma on entire communities.We must immediately free all non-violent drug offenders and expunge their records. We must also federally legalize cannabis by enacting equitable legislation that prioritizes the communities who have been impacted the most. 

Ban the Box! Currently, many job applications include a checkbox that forces those with a criminal record to separate themselves from every other applicant. If we want people to make productive returns to society, we must make it easier for them to find good jobs. Police must be held legally accountable to the communities they are employed to protect, especially when any act of violence occurs. No citizen should have to live in fear of armed agents of the state.

Every law we pass must focus on restorative justice by centering those who have been targeted by generations of unjust legislation.

 

WHEN ELECTED, YOU CAN COUNT ON MY SUPPORT FOR THE FOLLOWING

POLICY PRIORITIES AND LEGISLATION ON DAY ONE:

  • Defund police and invest in healthcare, housing, education, and real social services
     

  • End qualified immunity and hold police officers accountable to their actions 
     

  • End the school to prison pipeline and support children so they can grow up and prosper
     

  • Ban for-profit prisons and detention centers
     

  • End cash bail 
     

  • End the failed war on drugs and expunge the records of all non-violent drug offenders 
     

  • Ban the box 
     

  • H.R.4194 - To establish within the Department of Health and Human Services a Division on Community Safety, and for other purposes, introduced by Rep. Cori Bush in 2021
     

  • H.R.5070 - A Just Society: The Mercy In Re-entry Act, introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019
     

  • H.Res.702 - The People’s Justice Guarantee, introduced by Rep. Ayanna Pressley in 2019

 

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