David Richardson

Criminal Justice & Prison Reform

Despite closing a state prison after discovering officer-on-inmate violence, exposing certain abusive wardens, and introducing a bill to improve investigations into statewide prisons, I know Congressional action is the only way to achieve comprehensive reform. I will support banning for-profit prisons, legalizing marijuana nationwide, and changing the way we determine sentences for non-violent, low-impact crimes.

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but almost 25 percent of the total prison population. A large percentage of these Americans are people of color, and specifically African American men. We have too many Americans locked up for non-violent offenses, and if we intend to reform our system, it begins by ending mass incarceration, enacting large-scale sentencing reform, and rebuilding trust between communities and the police. 

I’ve seen the effects of our broken system when I conducted investigations of Florida prison without having to let authorities know beforehand. Despite closing a state prison after discovering officer-on-inmate violence, exposing certain abusive wardens, and introducing a bill to improve investigations into statewide prisons, I know Congressional action is the only way to achieve comprehensive reform.

Policy Priorities:

  1. Ban for-profit prisons
  2. Legalize marijuana nationwide, and use revenue to invest in drug courts and mental health interventions for those with substance abuse problems
  3. Demilitarize police forces and ban the sale and transfer of military weapons to local police forces
  4. Require body cameras for law enforcement officers
  5. Increase investments in public prisons, ensuring prisons are safe and secure environments for inmates and we have adequate training and education programs to ensure inmates re-enter society, prepared for its challenges
  6. Re-evaluate the use of cash bail and implement certain alternatives
  7. Pass sentencing reform, for low-impact, non-violent crimes
  8. Promote community centered policing and fully fund de-escalation training for law enforcement officers
  9. End the war on drugs and eliminate mandatory minimums
     

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