It is long past time to make our criminal justice system more equitable, especially for poor people and people of color. We must reject the false choice between protecting our communities and reducing mass incarceration. We must end cash bail, reform policing practices that disproportionately impact communities of color, and legalize marijuana.
Thousands of people are currently being held on Rikers Island simply because they cannot afford their bail.
- In the Bronx the average wait time for a jury trial is 827 days. That’s 99% higher than the wait time in Manhattan.
- In 2016, New York State had more than 77,000 inmates in state prisons and county jails.
End cash bail for non-violent offenders.
Pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act to legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana for people 18 and older.
Pass Kalief’s Law to ensure that all defendants have access to speedy trials.
Pass the STAT Act, which would make police statistics — including arrests and the deaths of anyone in police custody — available to the public.
Allow defendants earlier access to discovery files.
Prohibit civil asset forfeiture, which allows police to seize assets they believe were obtained illegally before an individual is arrested or found guilty.
Decriminalize sex work. Current laws disproportionately target women of color and trans women.
Expand educational opportunities in prison.
Close Rikers Island as soon as possible.
Create safe injection sites to reduce opioid overdose deaths, and offer referrals for addiction treatment and job training.
- Support Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order to expand voting rights for individuals on parole.