We have serious problems in this country’s criminal justice system. Too many people are being locked up for offenses that can and should be handled in other ways. I want to break the school to prison pipeline by reducing the role of law enforcement in the education disciplinary process and providing more resources for counselors and social workers to help people stay out of trouble in the first place. Incarceration should not be a business. It should be a necessary evil that focuses on rehabilitation and getting folks ready for the future so when they get out, they stay out for good.
We must rehabilitate offenders and end our reliance on over-incarceration.
As a social worker, I’ve seen the importance of developing and implementing effective social reintegration programs for individuals involved in the justice system, and the success they can have on reducing recidivism. I want to make successful programs like this the standard, not the exception.
The process for expunging minor criminal offenses from a person’s record needs to be simplified and available to everyone so that those who have paid their dues can more effectively return to being contributing members of society.
We need to focus on community policing so that officers can get to know a neighborhood and the neighbors get to know the officers. Communities and law enforcement need to work together, not against each other.
Communities need effective tools for holding public servants accountable—regardless of what capacity they serve in.
We should not be incarcerating people for petty drug crimes.
We should stop incentivizing incarceration and focus on improving rehabilitative practices.