We need to stop sending people to prison for non-violent infractions and stop the criminalization of poverty.
About 90 percent of the prison population is in state and local systems, but there is absolutely a role for the federal government in criminal justice reform.
We need comprehensive criminal justice reform across the nation to include the following points – before, during and after incarceration takes place:
- Decriminalize poverty: Implement bail reform and increase funding for indigent defense to improve access to fair trials.
- Eliminate all harsh sentencing and mandatory minimums for non-violent offenses and funnel non-violent drug offenders into mental health and substance abuse programs
- Increase career training and coaching to improve rehabilitation rates and decrease the chances that they reoffend.
Federal government block grants which favor states that implement smart ideas for reform would go a long way. All of these ideas will ultimately save money for tax payers, improve the availability of workforce for businesses, and result in more prosperity for society as a whole.