I support focusing on rehabilitation, rather than overly punitive measures that have proven ineffective for decades. We need to reform our criminal justice system by strengthening community-based intervention programs to reduce recidivism and supporting collaboration between mental health and substance abuse services.
Congressional efforts to reform our criminal justice system must be focused on fairness and compassion, helping those who have paid their debts transition back into society and giving them a true second chance at life. We need to reauthorize programs dedicated to mentoring of substance abuse and family-based programs, expand current correctional education and employment initiatives by increasing grants to state and local governments, and extend the Second Chance Act, allowing the federal government to continue providing resources to state and local governments and community groups to improve success rates for people released from jail.
I also support sentencing reform like increasing individualized review for certain drug offenses. We should also authorize a modest expansion to the existing federal “safety valve,” which has been effective in allowing federal judges to appropriately sentence certain non-violent drug offenders below existing mandatory minimums. I also support prison reform efforts that include establishing a risk-reduction system to help match inmates with programs that will lower their risk of recidivism.
I also believe in encouraging judicial districts to open drug, veteran, mental health, and other problem solving courts, to better give those who have served their sentence rehabilitative options to help them lead lives free from crime.
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