Re-engineering our justice system

The United States has the highest incarceration and recidivism rates of industrialized countries. To put that in perspective, we have less than five percent of the world's population, but we lock up nearly a quarter of the world's prisoners. Mass incarceration in our country is an epidemic. It destroys lives and communities.

Our justice system is too often inhumane, ineffective, and prohibitively expensive. It disproportionately affects people of color and assigns long prison terms to hundreds of thousands of perpetrators of victimless crimes, such as selling marijuana. Meanwhile, corporate, white collar, and environmental crime too often goes unpunished.

We must take steps to prevent violent crime and address the legitimate needs of victims, while addressing the socio-economic root causes of crime and practicing policies that prevent recidivism. We need to divest ourselves from the private prison industry and instead invest in measures for rehabilitation and positive alternatives to mass incarceration. We need to end the failed war on drugs, and help rebuild the communities that it has destroyed.

Things I'll be fighting for

  • Ending mass incarceration
  • Banning private prisons, and implementing a moratorium on prison construction
  • Redirecting funding to alternatives to incarceration
  • Providing incarcerated individuals the right to vote by absentee ballot in the district of their domicile, and the right to vote during parole
  • Abolishing the federal death penalty
  • Descheduling cannabis and regulating it like alcohol, including provisions that allow tax-free home-growing for personal use
  • Taxing cannabis sales and using the money to provide rebuild the lives and communities affected by the war on drugs
  • Repealing three-strikes laws and mandatory sentencing in favor of judicial discretion
  • Establishing and fund programs to strengthen self-help and community action through neighborhood centers that provide legal aid, alternative dispute-resolution practices, mediated restitution, community team policing, and access to local crisis/assault care shelters
  • Ending the war on drugs. Redirect funds presently budgeted for the war on drugs toward expanded research, education, counseling and treatment. And strike from the record prior felony convictions for marijuana possession, sale, or cultivation
  • Treating substance abuse as a medical problem, not a criminal problem
  • Amending the Controlled Substances Act to reflect that drug use in itself is not a crime, and that persons living in the United States arrested for using drugs should not be incarcerated with those who have committed victim oriented crimes
  • Ensuring prison conditions are humane and sanitary, including but are limited to heat, light, exercise, clothing, nutrition, libraries, possessions, and personal safety
  • Minimizing isolation of prisoners from staff and one another only as needed for safety
  • Making incarceration more community-based, including through increased visitor access by families

Join our movement.

Help us reclaim our future by replacing our broken and corrupt systems, empowering working people and communities, and saving our planet while we're at it. It won't be easy. It will take all of us working together. But working together is what we do best. We can do this. We, the people, are going to win.