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Criminal Justice Reform

Over the past two years, the General Assembly has taken some steps forward on criminal justice reform.  However, as is often the case, we can--and need to--do more. We can look at continuing to raise the felony larceny threshold.  Doing more also includes ending mandatory minimums and civil asset forfeiture. It means that we need to reform our criminal discovery process.  It also means that we need greater oversight for our jails, and we need to do a better job monitoring recidivism.

As a state, we need to look at bail reform because our jails should not be full of people who are incarcerated simply because they cannot afford to be released.  We also need to eliminate our private prison. We must be sure we are treating addiction, especially opioid addiction, as a public health problem and not just a criminal justice problem.  We must also work to decriminalize marijuana and then revisit past convictions for possession. We can also do more to interrupt the school to prison pipeline, including by examining how we treat students, especially students of color, both in school and in our justice system.  Lastly, we should be sure that our punishment and sentencing guidelines are fair and that we have reentry programs in place.