Our criminal justice system is broken and must be reformed. Prisons are overcrowded and private companies are banking on it. They are enabled by the failure of our criminal justice system, which is infected by systemic racism and policies that place a disproportionately higher number of black and brown people behind bars. It is no secret that most felons come from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities of color. We need to put an end to it, stop the school to prison pipeline, and stop letting corporations profit out of this unjust system. It is time for the system to work for everyone, not just the few. It's time to be smart on crime. It's time for a Justice For All system!
Through my Justice For All Act (JFA), we will finally have a system that operates fairly and equitably for everyone. It would end private prisons by effectively banning them, do away with the cash bail system, and reduce the population of jailed, detained, and incarcerated juveniles and adults through the reduction of nonviolent felony convictions to misdemeanors. It would end the death penalty. JFA proposes a mandatory training of police and law enforcement agencies across all levels of government in order to address the unfair treatment and killings of minority peoples, while also requiring more stringent and transparent monitoring. Money needs to be flowing into our communities to fund schools, clinics, and job training programs, and not towards incarcerating people for profit.
In addition, we cannot have criminal justice reform without letting felons vote. They too are fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. They should have a say in how policy affects their families and their future, just like the rest of us. Not letting felons vote has been one of many disgraceful voter suppression tactics. Without this, we are letting the rich and powerful enjoy higher voter turnout. We need to do all we can to help them rejoin society successfully, become productive members of our communities, and participate in the political process instead of sealing their fate in a life-cycle that keeps them going in and out of prison. Disenfranchisement of our most vulnerable communities stops now. Through the JFA policy, I pledge to fight for felons to be allowed to vote, because it is their constitutional right and their voices matter just as the rest of ours.
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