Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) was grilled over her support of legislation that proposes emptying federal prisons within 10 years.
Axios’ Jonathan Swan said during an interview with Tlaib, “In 2020, you endorsed the Breathe Act which is a series of proposals to transform America’s criminal justice system and create ‘a roadmap for prison abolition.’ The Breathe Act proposes emptying federal detention facilities within 10 years.”
He asked, “To what extent have you wrestled with any potential downsides of releasing into society every single person who’s currently in a federal prison?”
“I think that everyone’s like, oh my god, we’re going to just release everybody,” Tlaib responded.
Swan interrupted as he said, “That’s what it says.”
“Yeah, but did you see how many people are mentally ill that are in prison right now?” she responded.
Swan said, “No, I know. But the act that you endorsed actually says ‘release everyone’ in 10 years. But there are like human traffickers…Do you mean that you don’t actually support that?”
“No, I endorsed the Breathe Act in looking at federal policies and how we incarcerate,” Tlaib said.
She continued, “Look who’s in prison now. Look at the folks that are mentally ill that have substance abuse problems.”
Watch the video below:
.@jonathanvswan presses Rep. Tlaib on backing a bill to end federal prisons: To what extent have you wrestled w/ potential downsides?
Tlaib: I think everyone's like, oh my god, we're going to just release everybody.
Swan: But the act you endorsed actually says release everyone pic.twitter.com/ZBX3T9wxQy
— Axios (@axios) November 22, 2021
Finally, Swan asked, “In your vision, there is still whatever proportion they are, a small proportion, who do need to be behind bars?”
“Yeah, again I would have to look at every case individually and figure that all out. I can’t just say that,” she said.
According to Fox News, “A summary of the act calls for the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services to create a plan that ‘provides for full decarceration of federal detention facilities within 10 years’ and ‘enacts a moratorium on all new federal prison, jail, immigrant and youth detention construction.'”
In the wake of the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a Black man, by police earlier this year, Tlaib tweeted, “No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.”
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