2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke (D) is calling for “transformative justice” in his new criminal justice reform plan.
O’Rourke outlined his vision for a criminal justice system that would “divert people away from the justice system and reduce our prison population” in a post on Medium.
Speaking to Trevor Noah, host of the “The Daily Show,” O’Rourke laid out a quick outline of his plan:
“End for-profit prisons and cash bail in America. If we complement that with an end to the war on drugs, legalizing marijuana, but also expunging the records for those who served time. And then making sure that those who were arrested for selling weed, typically black or brown, are first in line to have the licenses to legally sell marijuana once it has become legal in this country.”
Watch his comments below:
His plan takes aim at America’s incarceration rates by investing $500 million in programs designed to develop alternatives to incarceration. It calls for “promoting clemency for individuals incarcerated in federal facilities,” and the end of for-profit prisons.
And his plan “prioritizes rehabilitation” laying out a series of programs designed to help people transition to life after their incarceration:
“Beto recognizes that our criminal justice system is in desperate need of reform, and to create meaningful reform, we must not only focus on reducing the number of incarcerated individuals, but also do more to ensure those released from prison are equipped to live full lives in which they are integrated into and contributing to their communities.”
O’Rourke plans to provide law enforcement agencies training “related to implicit bias, use of force, de-escalation, nonlethal interventions, and how to interact with people who have non-apparent disabilities, in addition to accurately reporting the gender of victims.”
His plan also calls for increased funding to provide better mental health services for law enforcement and individuals who are or were formerly incarcerated.
In addition to reforming schools, law enforcement, and the prison system, O’Rourke plans to forgive student loan debt for public defenders after five years on the job.
O’Rourke is calling for the legalization of marijuana and his plan makes sure that individuals who were arrested for selling marijuana are first in line to get licenses to legally sell it.
Individuals who serve their full sentence will see their voting rights restored and have access to federal benefits under O’Rourke’s plan.