A Criminal Justice System Texans Can Trust
We imprison more of our own people than does any other country on the planet. Our system of imprisonment is biased against African Americans and Latinos and criminalizes the poor. This must end. We can be more effective at rehabilitation and improve safety in our communities at a much lower cost while improving the opportunities for young people to achieve to their full potential.
To do so we must do the following:
- End the U.S. government’s war on drugs and encourage comprehensive reforms in drug control policies that have had a devastating effect on communities of color.
- End the federal prohibition on marijuana.
- End the practice of private and for-profit prisons that cost more, have the perverse incentive to send more people to jail, and have demonstrably higher levels of violence. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, prisons owned by for-profit companies held nearly three-quarters of federal immigration detainees in 2016.
- Find ways for nonviolent offenders to be held accountable for their crimes outside of the prison system and support programs that help rehabilitate them.
- Improve access to mental health services within our prison systems to help diagnose and address offenders with existing mental health issues and drive down rates of recidivism.
- End the current system of bail bonds that punishes people for being poor. The current system allows bail for those who can afford it, instead of ensuring that a person’s release won’t result in harm to someone else. Reforming the bail system will refocus public dollars on community safety and ensure that we no longer waste resources on incarcerating those who are not a public safety risk.