Criminal Justice Reform
End Mass Incarceration.
Require Fair and Constitutional Incarceration Standards.
Prevent and Reduce Recidivism.
Support Law Enforcement.
End Mass Incarceration. Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, allowing judges discretion in determining sentencing. When appropriate, the justice system can use community service or treatment programs as alternates to prison time for non-violent, low-level crimes which do not pose a threat to public safety. These programs work to minimize repeat offenses by addressing some of the underlying causes of criminal activity. Decreasing over-incarceration allows criminal justice officials to focus on violent offenders and high-level drug traffickers, which ultimately will reduce systemic criminal activity.
Require Fair and Constitutional Incarceration Standards. Ensure that time served is consistent, safe, and does not “punish a person for his poverty,” which is unconstitutional. Incarcerated people and their families are exploited with unreasonable monetary bail, exorbitant costs for communicating with their families, and fees in order to comply with probation and parole terms that are often unmanageable due to employment restrictions on individuals with past convictions. Solitary confinement for juvenile offenders should be prohibited due to the potential long-term mental health consequences for developing adolescent brains. The high cost of punitive sentences can be minimized by rehabilitation programs, especially for youth offenders.
Prevent and Reduce Recidivism. Support and expand re-entry programs, including job training, GED attainment, post-secondary educational opportunities, mental health care, drug treatment, and faith-based programs while incarcerated. Preparing incarcerated individuals for rejoining the community reduces recidivism and gives them an opportunity to become productive, contributing members of society. Legal rights for housing, employment, and civic engagement, including voting should be reinstated for those who have served their time.
Support Law Enforcement. Provide 21st century resources including body cams to record encounters, sophisticated data tracking to clarify arrest and conviction metrics, and training on use of force, implicit bias, and police misconduct to create efficient and effective law enforcement efforts. Transparency and accountability through these measures will enhance community support and trust and effective policing.