Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren Tackle Criminal Justice With These New Plans
The Democratic candidates launched competing plans to lower incarceration numbers.
August 20, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both released plans for criminal justice reform that would repeal major parts of the 1994 crime bill many believe led to America's high incarceration numbers.
In the Democratic primary, criminal justice reform has become a major campaign point for candidates hoping to reach the black community — a community disproportionately affected by mass incarceration.
Warren's plan, introduced Tuesday, calls for an end to the death penalty and cash bail system, in addition to an increase in funding for public defender offices and additional steps for protection for the at-risk transgender population.
"It is a false choice to suggest a tradeoff between safety and mass incarceration," Warren wrote in her post on Medium, announcing the plan. "By spending our budgets not on imprisonment but on community services that lift people up, we'll decarcerate and make our communities safer."
Sanders plan, released Sunday, would end mandatory minimum sentencing, legalize marijuana, and ban private prisons. Sanders has given his plan the goal of cutting the American prison population in half.
“We have a system that imprisons and destroys the lives of millions of people,” Sanders told the Associated Press, prior to the release of his proposal. “It’s racist in disproportionately affecting the African American and Latino communities, and it’s a system that needs fundamental change.”
Both Warren and Sanders have been seen as competing for similar voters — both being prominent progressive candidates pushing for issues like medicare-for-all. Both candidates have also struggled in breaking through to black voters — the two candidates are below 20 percent in regards to demographics in the latest Fox News poll.