My father was a cop in a police force that lost its way. We need to rebuild the trust communities have in their institutions immediately.
We can invest in healthy community roots.
We can incentivize our institutions to focus on rehabilitation, not punishment.
We can make police more transparent and accountable to its community.
- Updating the Peace Officers Bill of Rights to include much more transparency and accountability for bad actors
- Reduce the number of interventions police officers are involved in a community, like mental health, substance use, homelessness, and most incidents by children and teenagers
- Fund parole and probation departments based on their ability to lower recidivism and increase rehabilitation
- Annually moving 3% of our criminal justice and police budget to fund programs offering mental health & substance use support, transitional housing, and a path to employment
- Fund rehabilitative programs like the Prison Entrepreneurship program in Texas and Women in Recovery in Oklahoma, and mental health therapy
- Bar police officers with a criminal record from being eligible to work in police and phase out law enforcement in schools
- Re-examine and reduce the restrictions put on people who were previously incarcerated and are trying to rebuild their lives by expunging misdemeanors after 7 years and some felonies after 10 years
- Correcting the systemic bias in our criminal justice system by approving the Second Look Act in California which gives anyone who has served more than 10 years in prison a sentence review
Re-invest in Communities
It starts with our neighborhoods, the places we call home. Prosperity starts there and it involves well-funded schools, clean parks, affordable living, and a sense of safety. Right now many communities look like war-zones, every inch militarized. To make our streets thrive we must invest in healthy roots.
Criminal justice and police have become the de facto answer to nearly all community challenges for local and state officials. Sensitive issues like homelessness, mental health, and substance use should only be treated by specialists, period.
I grew up in a country where police served the wealthy and courts sided with their friends. We are on that same path. We need a lot more citizen oversight on the agreements the state and municipalities have with police. These agreements, and the underlying and dated Peace Officers Bill of Rights, create a culture that enables bad actors and obstructs any reform.
Give the Previously Incarcerated a Real Second Chance
My mother would pull me away from my comic books every Christmas Eve to help her pack burritos, chips, and Sprite for people in jail who were never fed. My father made a point of hiring people with a criminal record since he knew nobody else would.
Our community loses $700M in economic growth every year because people who paid their dues to society are not allowed to get the jobs they deserve. To break this vicious cycle we need to give anyone who wasn’t convicted of murder, vehicular homicide, sexual offenses, or conspiracy a real second chance. We must also focus on rehabilitating the incarcerated, through many proven programs that help reduce recidivism and empower people to build back fast.
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