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CRIMINAL

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

​Right now, America incarcerates more people than any other country in the world and a disproportionate percentage of those incarcerated are African-American and Hispanic. It is counter-intuitive for the “Land of the Free” to actually have the most people behind bars. I support legislation which will cancel the use of private prisons, as this practice opens the door to corruption in our court system where many criminal judges are elected by special interest campaign contributions. In addition, I call for the creation of bi-partisan committees which will appoint judges who will be subjected to a confidence vote in the event of a citizen-led petition. The Judicial branch of our government should focus on interpreting the law and they should not be subjected to partisan politics. 

 

An overwhelming percentage of prisoners are in prison for possession of small amounts of drugs. I support legislation which will decriminalize marijuana federally, and will support the abolition of mandatory minimum sentences for small amounts of drug possession. We need to focus more on rehabilitation and the health aspect of drug addiction – as addiction is an illness – rather than society treating those who struggle as criminals. Moreover, we need to rethink how we deal with prisoners once they are released. We have thousands and thousands of former prisoners who have made mistakes while they were young; however, the path to becoming a law-abiding citizen is fraught with roadblocks and obstacles. It is very hard for a person to get a job once they have been convicted, served their time, and paid their debt to society. We need to bridge the transition from convict to citizen by giving the people a chance to rebuild their lives and become productive, contributing members of society.