Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

“Democrats are committed to reforming our criminal justice system as a means to improving safety for everyone, including promoting community-based alternatives to mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders.”

We Affirm

1. Something is profoundly wrong when almost a quarter of the world’s prison population is in the United States, even though our country has less than five percent of the world’s population;

2. Instead of investing in more jails and incarceration, we need to invest more in jobs and education for the incarcerated and for the average citizen, and end the school-to-prison pipeline;

3. The criminal justice system has failed to provide adequate mental health services;

4. The “war on drugs” has led to the imprisonment of millions of Americans, disproportionately people of color, without reducing drug use;

5. Policies that provide for prisoner reentry into society and prevent collateral consequences based on criminal history should be required to reduce recidivism, recognizing that 95% of all prisoners are eventually released;

6. A person’s financial situation, appearance, race, address, or ethnicity should not determine if they go to jail;

7. Commendation and support of law enforcement officers that inspire and build a trusting community and employ creative and effective de-escalation strategies;

8. The diversity of administrators of the criminal justice system should be representative of the community; and

9. The private, for profit, prison industry is predatory, inhumane, exploits racist criminal justice policies and should be eliminated;

We Will

1. Encourage the federal government to remove “marijuana” from the list of Schedule I federal controlled substances and to appropriately regulate cannabis, providing a reasonable pathway for future legalization;

2. Support the decriminalization and legalization of recreational cannabis in the State of New Mexico and the expungement of criminal records for those with solely non-violent, personal cannabis use and possession;

3. Support the use of DNA Testing and timely Rape Kit processing to protect the wrongfully accused, set free the wrongfully convicted, and prosecute the perpetrators;

4. Advocate for sufficient funding to hire and train more competent public defenders to ensure every case can be timely and thoroughly represented and processed;

5. End mandatory minimum sentences;

6. Abolish the death penalty and solitary confinement, which are cruel and unusual forms of punishment;

7. Eliminate life without possibility of parole for youthful offenders;

8. End policies based on racial profiling that target individuals solely on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin, which is un-American and counterproductive;

9. Prevent conflicts of interest by creating an independent oversight process for the investigation of crimes involving law enforcement, including designating a chief DA position and/or civilian oversight boards chartered with investigative authority;

10. Remove barriers to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter society by preventing employment discrimination based on criminal history during the employment seeking process, expanding re-entry programs, and restoring voting rights;

11. Strengthen and adequately fund diversion and treatment programs as alternatives to arrest and incarceration;

12. Address all health care needs of arrested and incarcerated girls and women, including pregnancyrelated care;

13. Require that all incarcerated individuals, including youth, are afforded medical and mental health services, education, substance use recovery, and rehabilitative services;

14. Treat prosecution and defense equally by providing balanced funding for District Attorney and Public Defender Agencies;

15. Create and adequately fund an Independent Wrongful Conviction Review Commission;

16. Provide adequate mental health facilities and services so as to reduce the incarceration of the mentally ill;

17. End the exploitation of prison labor programs by private industry;

18. Promote expansion of legal aid services in rural communities;

19. Demand all law enforcement personnel receive implicit bias training, violence management, and mental health first aid initiated in the academy and continue throughout their years of service;

20. Demand minimum qualifications for Federal Judge Appointments; and

21. Support specialized courts that focus on unrepresented groups which need special expertise such as those with home insecurity and those with mental illness.

Help Protect Our Democracy

Join today to make sure that New Mexico continues to elect Democrats who will protect our democracy and uphold our ideals