The United States cages almost a quarter of the world’s prison population. Crime itself has not spurred these staggering numbers; poor policy has. The prison industrial complex has become our stand-in employment, drug, and mental health “policy.” Incarceration is the default solution to the worst social problems we face, not because it aims to solve them, but precisely because it buries them.
There can never be a humane cage, no matter how we build and maintain it.
The billions allocated for building and feeding the prison industrial complex should be invested into communities, obviating the need to punish on such a large scale in the first place. We believe in a restorative justice system that heals rather than punishes. We must support policies that stop prison construction, shrink prison populations, and provide resources to support and heal formerly incarcerated people and affected communities.
Our Decarceral Demand:
Eliminate all private prisons and detention centers and examine methods of depopulating prisons and jails
Abolish all mandatory sentencing and repeal “three strikes” laws
Put an end to cash bail and pretrial detention
Prohibit property forfeiture
Ensure profits from marijuana legalization are invested in communities most affected
Make decriminalization retroactive, and release and expunge the records of those who are currently imprisoned for drug crimes, sex work, and “crimes of poverty”
Provide free drug treatment to parolees who struggle with addiction
Release prisoners who suffer from diagnosed mental disorders to community mental health treatment centers
Ensure constitutional rights upon release including the restoration of voting rights and “banning the box” legislation to safeguard against hiring discrimination
Demilitarize our public schools to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline
Challenge the parole to prison pipeline by replacing expensive supervisory bureaucracies with community-centered organizations committed to help the formerly incarcerated navigate society
Incentivize and advocate for direct community control of the police, including elected civilian review boards empowered to investigate and prosecute police misconduct
Support the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act, prohibiting police/intelligence-agency profiling based on race, religion, or national origin
End exchanges between US police departments and the Israeli military
Abolish the death penalty