In recent events we have seen just how corrupt and brutal our law enforcement system is here in the “land of the free and home of the brave.” Police officers across the country are literally resigning, striking and overwhelmingly outraged by the fact that “WE the people” are demanding they stop killing innocent black men, women and children. We demand that they be held accountable to the very same law they are sworn to uphold and protect. Calls to defund and/or dismantle the police force are heard in all 50 states, as well as around the world. Qualified immunity is a free pass for the police to be as violent and corrupt as they please with no accountability. Reform is not enough when the very foundation of law enforcement is built on a racist foundation and braced in brutality. From its inception as “slave watchers” to prisoner-leasing. Law enforcement has heart that beats to the rhythm of racial profiling and brutality. It needs to be dismantled and re-constructed.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, almost half of all federal prisoners are held for non-violent drug crimes. The majority of which are for possession of marijuana. How is this so when medical marijuana is legal in 33 states? Over half the country. A major reason for this is the predatory for-profit prison system. This system incentivizes the disastrous war on drugs – in service of higher profits for the private prison industry. I will support efforts to fight this predatory system, starting with federal legalization of marijuana.
Additionally, there is a lack of confidence in our current system of policing because of the systemic racism and classism that has targeted vulnerable communities through draconian policies like mandatory minimum sentencing. I will work to bring REAL reform by fighting to end the war on drugs, as well as through the creation of civilian led review boards that create community accountability for law enforcement.
I would like to note that I am a victim of the corrupt, oppressive, and abusive policing tactics this nations Law Enforcement imposes! I know first hand how unaccountable both officers and the Judicial System have become. I know what for profit prisons in our country have done to our notion of freedom and justice. It is not just a problem for drug users, but all citizens with the misfortune of coming into contact with the police!
The war on drugs is an abysmal failure. It serves only to highlight the pervasive issues in our nation when it comes to the Justice System. What’s more, it criminalizes addiction, which has been universally proven to be a medical condition that stems from mental and emotional abuse. All that to say the first step to Criminal Justice Reform is to redefine what is criminal, what is medical, and what is being used by the state to extort additional taxes out of the citizens. To that end, legalizing the use and possession of drugs so that addicts can get the help they need to recover. We also need to ensure that the drugs that are available aren’t laced with deadly chemicals such as fentanyl.
Once we have our prisons emptied for minor possession or drug use crimes, (and those very same crimes expunged retroactively from people’s records) we improve the status of the citizenry. Especially the communities of black Americans and other minorities, who are disproportionately incarcerated with felony convictions relating to drug use. We can start placing White Collar Criminals in those very same cells. However, to achieve that lofty goal, there are several other adjustments to the current state of affairs concerning the Criminal Justice System:
Overhaul Law Enforcement
Bail Bond Reform
Defining Criminal Behavior
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