America imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than almost any other country in the world, and minorities are disproportionately represented in this group. Incarceration doesn’t just set someone back for the time they’re imprisoned; with our current felony laws, they follow someone throughout their life.
Mandatory minimum laws, the war on drugs, and other misguided policy decisions over the years passed by politicians with an eye towards being “tough on crime” have resulted in a glut of Americans behind bars. Instead of focusing on what sounds or feels good, we should focus on results. While individuals should be punished for committing crimes, the end goal should be to prevent people from committing crimes, and to lower recidivism rates for those who are convicted.
Outside of my social policies such as Universal Basic Income, which will eliminate poverty and thus reduce one common driver of crime, there are many things we can do to ensure the safety of Americans by preventing people from becoming criminals.
- Review the current mandatory minimum laws to bring them in line with what data shows us is effective
- Shift federal drug policy away from punishment and towards treatment
- End the use of for-profit, private prisons
- Fund programs targeted at reducing recidivism and increasing reintegration
- Push for a reconsideration of the harshness of our felony laws, including an investigation into any civil rights issues raised by the disproportionate amount of minorities convicted of these crimes
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Problems to be Solved
- Mass incarceration is one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time, and it needs to be addressed so that all have a fair shot at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Our rates of incarceration are 4 times higher than most other industrialized countries, and it’s a national disgrace. People on both sides of the aisle now recognize that our system is badly in need of reform. Our criminal justice system is particularly punitive toward blacks and other minorities. As President I will overhaul the treatment of drug offenses and reduce our rates of incarceration over time.
- Reduce the incarceration rate in America
- Increase treatment options for drug offenses
- Reduce the rate of recidivism
- Reduce overall crime rates
As President, I will...
- Work to end the use of private prison facilities for federal inmates.
- Shift drug policy away from punishment and towards treatment.
- Invest money to fund innovative prison programs that decrease recidivism and increase reintegration.
- Invest money to support businesses that hire felons who have served their prison term.
- Push to reconsider harsh felony laws that prevent those who have served their prison term from reintegrating into society.
- Identify non-violent drug offenders for probation and potential early release.
- Implement Universal Basic Income which will dramatically decrease incentives for criminality and improve the functioning of individuals and communities.