Re-imagine Our Criminal Justice System
The criminal justice system has been built to criminalize people of color and Indigenous people, disproportionately sending them to prison for minor offenses and entrapping them in a vicious cycle of incarceration. If we are going to dismantle systemic racism in our country, we must radically transform our approach to criminal justice and invest in restorative justice practices.
- The United States spends $182 billion each year towards incarcerating people
- There is a one-in-three chance that a black individual will be imprisoned, compared to a one-in-seventeen chance an individual who is white will
- In 2016, nearly 1,000 civilians were shot and killed by police nationwide
- 37% of young black males who have dropped out of high school are now in prison or jail
Vision and Policy Priorities
Invest in alternatives to incarceration
It is unacceptable for any corporation to make money off of incarcerating human beings. For-profit prisons reinforces a criminal justice system that seeks out reasons to incarcerate people of color and Indigenous people. We must prioritize restorative justice models and fully fund these programs at the national level. We must work to drastically lower the number of people incarcerated in the United States.
- Ban private prisons
- Pass legislation that funds preventative and diversionary programs, specifically focusing on ending the school-to-prison pipeline
- Restore felon voting rights
- Ensure that those being released from incarceration are fully supported in their transition back to society
Oppose federal programs that criminalize communities of color
Programs like Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and the Black Identity Extremism program function to monitor and criminalize black immigrants and African-Americans, especially black Muslims. They are based on a model of racial profiling and meant to incite fear and the suppression of black organizers and activists.
- Pressure the FBI to end these harmful programs
- Pass the End Racial Profiling Act, which would ban all racial profiling by federal, state, and local agencies
End the War on Drugs
The War on Drugs has disproportionately impacted communities of color. The only way to repair the harm caused in communities across the country is to end the War on Drugs, and repairing the damage by intentionally investing in education, housing, healthcare, and employment
- Legalize recreational cannabis nationwide, expunge the records and seek amnesty for those incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses
- End mandatory minimum sentencing laws for low-level offenses
- Invest in an public-health approach to the addiction crisis
- Demilitarize police departments and push for federal investigations into local departments who utilize practices like arrest quotas