End Cash Bail. Abolish Private Prisons. Restore the Right to Vote.

Prison Reform

The United States, a nation which values freedom and liberty above all else, is home to the world’s largest population of prisoners. Though Americans make up just under 5% of the global population, 20% of the incarcerated people in the world are in the United States.

I know that criminal justice reform is a matter of racial and economic justice. People of color are vastly overrepresented in our prisons today due to a complex mixture of racial profiling, drug arrest disparities, concentrated urban poverty, and other forms of systemic racism. As the NAACP notes, “Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015.” And the law is not applied evenly across class, either: the cash bail system, our underfunded public defenders, and the concentration of police officers in low-income neighborhoods currently ensures that the most vulnerable members of our communities are the ones being treated most harshly.

Our current politicians have stalled too long on this issue while our communities suffer. When our neighbors, friends, and family members are caught up in the endless cycle of arrest and incarceration, we all feel the impact.

That’s why, when I’m in Congress, I will fight to:

  • End the cash bail system, which keeps low-income people in jail (risking the loss of their home or job) while wealthier offenders walk free.
  • End private prisons and ensure that imprisonment is used as a last resort for public safety, not as a system for investors to lobby politicians to keep our prisons full and make the most money possible.
  • Address the disproportionate rates of police violence against people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals by expanding the use of police body cameras and working to hold police officers accountable.
  • Properly fund public defenders, ensuring that every American accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial and reducing instances where innocent people spend extended time in jail simply because their appointed attorney is overworked.
  • Address the disastrous effects of the failed War on Drugs by legalizing cannabis at the federal level, expunging non-violent marijuana offenses, and redirecting resources away from incarceration toward evidence-based drug prevention and treatment methods.
  • Abolish mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent crimes, allowing judges to use discretion when sentencing first-time and low-risk offenders.
  • End felony disenfranchisement and restore the right to vote for all Americans who have paid their debt to society.
  • Ensure that recently released inmates have access to resources in housing, employment, and healthcare to facilitate a smooth transition back to their communities.
  • Keep our children from ever entering the school-to-prison pipeline by heavily investing in our public schools.

You deserve a representative who understands the gravity of this issue, and you deserve someone who will fight for a criminal justice system that represents our American values of liberty, freedom, and equal protection under the law