Policy > Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

Transition to restorative and rehabilitative justice. 

Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. More than 1,000 Americans have been shot and killed by police over the past year. No more silence. No more lip service. No more inaction. It's time for substantive structural change. 

  • Require a federal standard limiting use of force to only necessary as a last resort. Mandate the use of de-escalation techniques.

  • Prohibit neck holds, chokeholds, and other maneuvers involving excessive force that restrict the flow of blood or oxygen to the brain. 

  • Enforce robust data collection on police-community encounters and law enforcement

  • De-militarize law enforcement

  • Prohibit no-knock warrants

  • Modify 18 U.S.C. Sec 242 to allow prosecutors to hold law enforcement accountable for the deprivation of civil rights and civil liberties

  • Develop a national public database of police agencies covering violations and license revocation due to misconduct 

  • End qualified immunity which has been interpreted by courts as unqualified impunity

 

Moreover, we should:

  • Ban private prisons

  • Reduce mass incarceration

  • Legalize and regulate Marijuana

  • Decrease the use of pre-trial cash bail

  • Common sense gun safety reform, including federal background checks, licensing, closing loopholes, and providing deescalation training to law enforcement

  • Combat white nationalism and domestic terrorism 

  • Empower the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to investigate algorithmic trading fraud

  • Promote the Public Protection Against Market Abuse Act to fight financial crime

  • Hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for fraud

The U.S. imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than almost any other country in the world, disproportionately African-American, in part due to mandatory minimum laws and the war on drugs.

We should aim to prevent people from committing crimes, and to lower recidivism rates for those who are convicted.

  • Reform mandatory minimum laws 

  • Transition federal drug policy away from punishment and towards treatment

  • End the use of for-profit, private prisons

  • Fund programs to reduce recidivism and increasing reintegration

  • Reevaluate felony laws, including investigation into civil rights violations

  • Thousands are in jail for marijuana-related offenses, particularly people of color.  Yet marijuana is now legal for adult use in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and 33 states have legalized medical marijuana in some form. 

  • Legalize marijuana at the federal level to improve public safety, social equity, and generate tens of billions of dollars in new revenue based on legal cannabis businesses.  

 

Cite: Yang2020.com, https://www.naacpldf.org/wp-content/uploads/Coalition_Letter_to_House_and_Senate_Leadership_on_Federal_Policing_Priorites_Final_6.1.20.pdf

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