We support a complete deconstruction and reimagining of the criminal justice process in this country. The way it stands now harms women, socioeconomically disadvantaged people, LGBTQ+ people, and all people of color, especially Black individuals. America’s criminal justice system is rife with issues, and to ignore that would be to ignore all the people who are affected by this system every day.
WHAT WE WILL FIGHT FOR...
We will fight for the eventual abolition of the police, with several intermediary steps as short term solutions. Because the policing system in this country is directly descended from a racist history of slave patrollers, and therefore irremovable from the systematic racism. While abolition of the police must be the end goal, in the meantime, these short-term solutions will make real differences in the lives of those threatened by the police every day.
We will fight to end the death penalty. Because justice at its core is about rehabilitation, which the idea of the death penalty is inherently against
We will fight to end mass incarceration. Because the levels of incarceration in the U.S. depict a nation incarcerating people unnecessarily. The racial disparities of prisons also prove that the current levels of incarceration are racist, immoral, and must be ended.
We will fight for better conditions for incarcerated individuals. Because once again, justice should be about rehabilitation rather than repercussion. Prisoners require basic human necessities and should not be denied them just because of their criminal records.
We will fight for a new process of jury selection including not equating neutrality with lack of sympathy and creating restrictions so juries are truly made of peers. Because jury selection is just another way systematic racism presents itself within the criminal justice system. Constitutionally, Americans are guaranteed a right to a trial by their peers, and manipulating juries to be a particular race has negative effects on the effectiveness of a criminal trial.
We will fight for juvenile justice. Because using incarcerated people to manipulate data in order to disenfranchise even more people is immoral, especially when the fact that incarcerated people aren’t allowed to choose their own representation is taken into account.
We will fight for an end to the cash bail/bond system. Because the current cash bail system perpetuates and increases discrimination against the economically disadvantaged, and essentially makes crime more legal for the wealthy.
“In the eyes of the exceptionalist, this nation is not leading the world in areas it should be. The United States leads the world not in its democratic integrity, economic equality, healthcare, nor education but in its military spending. In its gun ownership. And most saliently, in its incarceration — the systemic caging of millions, disproportionately BIPOC, at the hands of the prison-industrial complex. When do we say enough is enough? Criminal justice reform would not be solved at the ballot box; undoing decades of racist and oppressive policies was never going to go away overnight. We have hard work ahead of us, but with a cohesive policy framework in place to advocate for change, I’m hopeful we can get there.”
- Maria Cheng, TX, Generation Ratify National IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) Director.