Criminal Justice Reform

Addressing Institutional Racism

There has long been evidence of judicial misconduct and prejudice against minorities accused of crimes. As a country, we must remain vigilant in efforts to fight racism in our justice system. The length of a prisoner's sentence should be based on their actions, not their skin color. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Legislative efforts geared towards eliminating racist practices from the justice system at the county, state and federal levels of the criminal justice system.

Cannabis Legalization

The Reagan-era drug war on cannabis that overtly targeted underprivileged communities must come to an end. Now that there is data supporting claims that cannabinoids have positive medical benefits, the time has come to legalize cannabis. Legal cannabis sales generate millions in state tax revenue and legalization ensures that cannabis can be used safely under government supervision. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Legalizing and decriminalizing cannabis nationwide.
  • ● Expunging previous marijuana possession charges.
  • ● Releasing current inmates imprisoned on marijuana possession charges. If an inmate is imprisoned on more than one charge such as marijuana possession and a DUI, an inmate must still serve the time for the other charge(s).
  • ● Taxing marijuana sales on the state level and requiring said tax revenue be used to fund after-school programs and rehabilitation centers, and invest in low-income and minority neighborhoods that have been targeted by mass incarceration and the War on Drugs.

Prison System Reforms

While it is the responsibility of government to enforce the law against those who break it, this responsibility can be done with dignity. The punishment and rehabilitation of people that break the law should be done with respect towards the imprisoned. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Restoring voting rights to released felons.
  • ● Ensuring all prisoners have access to free reproductive care including access to pre- and post-natal care, abortions, STI and HIV/AIDS tests and treatment.
  • ● Enacting the reforms of the FIRST STEP Act signed into law at the beginning of 2019.
  • ● Increasing access to rehabilitation centers as an alternate means of corrective action.

Ending Cash Bail

Cash bail is essentially a form of wage discrimination that allows the upper class to avoid jail time while awaiting trial. This flawed program introduced a vein of inequality into the justice system that few states have tried to rectify. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Ending the practice of cash bail programs.
  • ● Replacing cash bail with risk assessment practices that authorize pretrial release based on factors such as not showing up for court, previous charges and if the accused remains a danger to others.

Ending Private Prisons

Private prisons have only one motive: profit. They have no incentive to promote justice or rehabilitation to those incarcerated, only to profitably house them. This is often done with little to no respect for the overall well-being of the prisoners and this conflict of interest creates a lack of accountability. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Banning private prisons.

Immigration Reform

Friends of Intelligent Democracy is focused on espousing responsible and compassionate immigration policy that benefits humanity as a whole. Friends of Intelligent Democracy is passionate about fighting discriminatory and nativist immigration policies and advocating for those who are unable to protect themselves. Ultimately, we hope to bridge the gap between politics and people and develop responsible policies for the betterment of our country and all of its residents. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Protecting working immigrants from abuse and harassment.
  • ● Creating paths to citizenship for law-abiding undocumented immigrants.
  • ● Banning the practice of family separation.
  • ● Strengthening the Fair Labor Standards Act to protect immigrant workers.
  • ● Granting citizenship to every DACA recipient.
  • ● Restructuring ICE into an organization that focuses on deporting violent criminals rather than working families.
  • ● Requiring every immigrant be provided legal representation and a translator in every court hearing.
  • ● Requiring ICE agents properly approach detaining deportees without violating the rights of residents.
  • ● Rewriting asylum laws that make it easier for immigrants and their families facing crises in their home countries to be allowed into the United States.

Law Enforcement

There is a long history of mistrust between law enforcement and different communities within American society. Any American, regardless of their race, gender identity, religion, or sexual orientation, should feel safe and comfortable during an interaction with any law enforcement officer. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:

  • ● Working with federal and state agencies to provide every police officer with a body camera.
  • ● Mandating de-escalation training and prioritizing arrests without the use of lethal force in police academy curriculum.
  • ● Testing every rape kit and prohibiting states from discarding any kit related to open case.
  • ● Requiring that local police departments report every report of suspicious activity that could lead to mass shootings.
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