“If we stand together, we can eliminate private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up.”
Decrying America’s status as the “world’s leading jailer,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday released a comprehensive plan to confront the crisis of mass incarceration, end the criminalization of poverty, and dramatically overhaul the U.S. criminal justice system.
“We have a criminal justice system that is racist and broken, and working together we’re going to fundamentally transform it,” said Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
The platform, which Sanders unveiled at an event in Columbia, South Carolina on Sunday, condemns America’s “overly-punitive approach to public safety” and urges investments “to rebuild the communities that mass incarceration continues to decimate.”
“We have over two million people in jail and prison, more than any other nation on earth, and they are disproportionately African-American, Latino, and Native American,” Sanders wrote in an email to supporters on Sunday. “We spend $80 billion a year keeping people behind bars, money which could be used for education, job creation, and affordable housing.”
“We spent, and I want everybody to hear this, $80 billion a year in tax dollars at the local, state, and federal level to lock up fellow Americans… It might be a better idea to take some of that $80 billion and start investing in our young people.” @BernieSanders pic.twitter.com/KyEv2q9hsf
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) August 18, 2019
To remedy this dysfunctional and devastating system, Sanders’ platform—detailed on his website—calls for:
- A ban on private prisons as part of a broader effort to “end profiteering in our criminal justice system”;
- An end to cash bail, which traps poor Americans in a cycle of debt;
- Halting excessive sentencing “with the goal of cutting the incarcerated population in half”;
- Transformation of policing by ensuring oversight and accountability for law enforcement, banning use of facial recognition software by law enforcement, and ending “programs that provide military equipment to local police”;
- Abolishing the death penalty;
- Legalization of marijuana and erasure of past marijuana convictions; and
- An end to the criminalization of addiction by funding adequate treatment for those addicted to opioids.
“If we stand together, we can eliminate private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up,” Sanders said during his speech in South Carolina.
“If we stand together we can end the disastrous ‘war on drugs,'” the senator added. “If we stand together we can end cash bail. No more keeping people in jail because they’re too poor. If we stand together we can enact real police department reform and prosecute police brutality. If we stand together, there is nothing, nothing, nothing that we cannot accomplish.”
Watch the speech:
Progressives say GM’s decision to cut off employee health insurance ‘yet another reason why we need Medicare for All’
General Motors' decision Tuesday to stop paying healthcare premiums for nearly 50,000 of the company's striking workers offered a powerful case for why Medicare for All is necessary to ensure stable and quality insurance as a right for everyone in the United States.
That was the argument advanced by single-payer supporters in the wake of GM's move, which union leaders and others quickly denounced as a cruel intimidation tactic designed to break the United Auto Workers strike.
Donald Trump calls Beto O’Rourke ‘dummy’ over assault-weapon buyback proposal
In a tweet Wednesday morning, the president said presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is making it harder to make a deal regarding gun control.
President Donald Trump added Beto O'Rourke to his list of nicknamed politicians, referring to the Democratic presidential candidate as "Dummy Beto" in a tweet on Wednesday morning.
Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal. Convinced many that Dems just want to take your guns away. Will continue forward! https://t.co/87jvaYUkyn
Lily Adams helped her grandmother Ann Richards win Texas. Can she get Kamala Harris to the White House?
As a young child, Adams was frequently at her governor grandmother's side. Now she's continuing her family's political legacy.
It’s possible that Lily Adams’ political baptism at a Baylor University homecoming parade is what most prepared the Democratic operative for the tone of the Trump era.
Dressed in a red, white and blue dress, she tried in earnest to charm the crowds from a ’57 Ford pickup truck. One angry parade-goer remained less than delighted and wanted her to know it. He marched up to her makeshift float, got in her face and gave her the middle finger.