Joe Biden Should Read His Own Justice Plan

Today, too many people are incarcerated in the United States – and too many of them are black and brown. To build safe and healthy communities, we need to rethink who we’re sending to jail, how we treat those in jail, and how we help them get the health care, education, jobs, and housing they need to successfully rejoin society after they serve their time. As president, Joe Biden will strengthen America’s commitment to justice and reform our criminal justice system. 

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The Biden Plan for Strengthening America’s Commitment to Justice is based on several core principles:

  • We can and must reduce the number of people incarcerated in this country while also reducing crime. No one should be incarcerated for drug use alone. Instead, they should be diverted to drug courts and treatment. Reducing the number of incarcerated individuals will reduce federal spending on incarceration. These savings should be reinvested in the communities impacted by mass incarceration.
  • Our criminal justice system cannot be just unless we root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system. Black mothers and fathers should feel confident that their children are safe walking the streets of America. And, when a police officer pins on that shield and walks out the door, the officer’s family should know they’ll come home at the end of the day. Additionally, women and children are uniquely impacted by the criminal justice system, and the system needs to address their unique needs.
  • Our criminal justice system must be focused on redemption and rehabilitation. Making sure formerly incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to be productive members of our society is not only the right thing to do, it will also grow our economy.
  • No one should be profiteering off of our criminal justice system.

Biden calls for the immediate passage of Congressman Bobby Scott’s SAFE Justice Act, an evidence-based, comprehensive bill to reform our criminal justice system “from front-end sentencing reform to back-end release policies.” The Biden Plan will also go further. Biden will take bold action to reduce our prison population, create a more just society, and make our communities safer, by:

  • Preventing crime and providing opportunities for all.
  • Eliminating racial disparities and ensuring fair sentences.
  • Offering second chances.
  • Reducing violence in our communities and supporting survivors of violence.
  • End, once and for all, the federal crack and powder cocaine disparity. The Obama-Biden Administration successfully narrowed the unjustified disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences. The Biden Administration will eliminate this disparity completely, as then-Senator Biden proposed in 2007. And, Biden will ensure that this change is applied retroactively.
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