One of the great parts of running for office is that people tend to be very honest with you about their feelings on various issues once they know you are a candidate. I have taken the opportunity to speak with hundreds of residents and learn what matters to them, what would make their lives–and our community–better. The list of topics discussed is wide-ranging, and I will address each of them throughout the course of this campaign. Today, I am announcing my criminal justice reform policy framework: SMART on Crime.
In my quest to gain a better understanding of this topic, I have spoken with defense attorneys, former Commonwealth Attorneys, members of the correctional system, returned citizens, and judges about our current processes and procedures. The result is a realization that we have a great deal of work to do in our Commonwealth; we need SMART policies.
The sentencing range for many crimes needs reform, as does our current use of the sentencing guidelines during jury trials.
We need to adopt proactive policies to address the school-to-prison pipeline and ensure that all of our children have the opportunity to succeed.
Alternatives to Incarceration
When a crime is committed, incarceration should not be the only punitive option. We need to create a system of remedial actions that support a stronger society and effectively lower recidivism.
Returning Citizen Programs
We should improve programs that assist returning citizens, ensuring that they start during incarceration and continue past release.
Local police forces are a vital part of our community. We should adopt policies that allow residents and law enforcement officers to build trust.
My team and I are developing the language for the specific policy proposals that I will patron should I be elected to represent the 13th Senate District. If you have ideas, suggestions, or questions, please reach out to me through the website or at one of my upcoming events.