criminal justice reform
Rather than work to extricate our criminal justice system from the darkest part of our nation’s history—slavery and persistent civil rights injustices—establishment politicians have worsened the problems at all levels. From policing to sentencing to prisons, our system disproportionately affects the most marginalized members of our society and keeps them in unconscionable conditions. We need only look to the MDC prison in South Brooklyn, which went without heat, electricity, and functioning phone systems during the polar vortex of 2019, as an example. We need to fix our broken criminal justice system now to guarantee that the law is truly just.
America imprisons more of its own people than any other nation in the world. Even as the crime rate is on a steady decline, incarceration and recidivism rates continue to climb. Our system currently targets black and brown people with higher arrest rates and longer sentences than their white counterparts, even though whites commit the same crimes at basically the same rates. This trend has left devastation in its wake. As an active leader of the Doe Fund’s “Ready willing and Able” program, I see first-hand how more and more Americans find themselves disenfranchised and barred from employment or prevented from voting, even after serving their time. Children and partners lose their parents and loved ones to the system, perpetuating negative social and economic outcomes.
I will address this crisis through a comprehensive plan that protects the rights of all Americans by demilitarizing the police, legalizing marijuana, and expanding due process protections. It’s time for a hand up for those who have been held down by centuries of injustice.