Criminal Justice Reform
Our criminal justice system is broken. Our state currently spends more tax dollars on the Department of Corrections than it spends on the UW System. Since 1990, Wisconsin’s prison population has tripled. Wisconsin’s prisons are designed to house about 16,000 inmates. Today they hold roughly 23,000. We are misusing resources and it’s preventing our state from reaching its full potential. It’s time for real criminal justice reform in Wisconsin that focuses on rehabilitation and reducing recidivism. We also need to address the factors contributing to Wisconsin having the highest rate of incarcerated African-American males in the country.
- End “truth in sentencing”. This is a failed program that has led to prison overcrowding and greater recidivism. We need to provide rehabilitation opportunities, and work to bring prisoners back into society.
- Expand the Early Release Program. We need to focus on rehabilitation for non-violent substance abuse offenders. The ERP is a treatment program to address alcohol and other drug abuse needs. There are 5,900 inmates on the waiting list for a treatment bed in the ERP program.
- “Ban the box.” We know that finding a job can be hard enough as it is. But it’s nearly impossible to find employment when needing to list criminal convictions on an application. Formerly incarcerated individuals who have paid their debt to society need a fair shot at getting a job and giving back to their community.
- Strengthen gun safety laws. I support universal background checks, mandatory two-day waiting periods for gun purchases, and limiting the sales of semi-automatic rifles.
- Legalize marijuana. I support the legalization of marijuana and using tax revenue to fund opioid recovery, and education. I also support commuting sentences for marijuana convictions.
- Invest in job training and workforce development. Our criminal justice system should be focused on rehabilitation and reducing recidivism. We need to create pathways for prisoners to learn new skills and reenter the workforce upon release.
- Reform the juvenile detention system. I support moving juvenile detainees to smaller regionally facilities, ending solitary confinement for juveniles, and focusing on rehabilitation.