NEWARK, NJ — In response to Joe Biden releasing his new policy plan on criminal justice, Cory Booker issued the following statement:
“Joe Biden had more than 40 years to get this right. The proud architect of a failed system is not the right person to fix it.
“The 1994 crime bill accelerated mass incarceration and inflicted immeasurable harm on Black, Brown, and low-income communities. While it’s encouraging to see Vice President Biden finally come around to supporting many of the ideas I and others have proposed, his plan falls short of the transformative change our broken criminal justice system needs.
“We need to fundamentally dismantle our broken criminal justice system as we know it. Our next president must both heal our country from decades of racist and unjust policy, and put forward a sweeping vision for how we can rise together. Any comprehensive plan simply must include the legalization of marijuana, an overhaul of policing practices, ambitious use of presidential clemency power to right past wrongs, and reinvestment in the communities that have borne the costs of mass incarceration. Joe Biden’s plan doesn’t do that.”
The Biden Plan for Strengthening America’s Commitment to Justice is based on several core principles:
- We can and must reduce the number of people incarcerated in this country while also reducing crime. No one should be incarcerated for drug use alone. Instead, they should be diverted to drug courts and treatment. Reducing the number of incarcerated individuals will reduce federal spending on incarceration. These savings should be reinvested in the communities impacted by mass incarceration.
- Our criminal justice system cannot be just unless we root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system. Black mothers and fathers should feel confident that their children are safe walking the streets of America. And, when a police officer pins on that shield and walks out the door, the officer’s family should know they’ll come home at the end of the day. Additionally, women and children are uniquely impacted by the criminal justice system, and the system needs to address their unique needs.
- Our criminal justice system must be focused on redemption and rehabilitation.Making sure formerly incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to be productive members of our society is not only the right thing to do, it will also grow our economy.
- No one should be profiteering off of our criminal justice system.