Freedom From Violence. It’s no secret that we live in violent times. Daily, it seems, news comes in of more gun violence, hate violence, sexual violence, traffic violence, or state violence. The only solution coming from Republicans and “Law and Order” Democrats has been more violence: surveillance, policing, prosecution and incarceration. We need a new approach, based on thriving communities, connections across difference, freedom from poverty, and restorative justice.
Mass decarceration. America cannot live up to its promise as the land of the free while we keep millions of people in jails, prisons, detention camps, and other forms of punitive coercion. It is vital that we decrease sentences, provide alternatives to prosecution and incarceration, and end recidivism by ensuring that returning civilians have the economic and educational support they need to pursue opportunities in life.
True public safety. To actually achieve a safe society, we need proactive approaches that prevent violence from happening, not just a system that determines whom to punish and how, once violence has already been committed. We must make bold investments in Cure Violence projects, trauma-informed mental health, and strong community organizations to mediate conflicts and provide restorative justice processes.
End the Drug War. It is well known that the so-called “War on Drugs” has actually been a war on poor people of color, particularly Black people. Chaotic drug use should be handled by the public health sector, not the criminal legal system. We must decriminalize drugs, invest in harm reduction, and provide all Americans robust, compassionate mental health and addiction treatment services.