End All Structural Racism, Ensure a Focus on Women and LGBTI people, and Protect the Human Rights of All People – including Groups Disproportionately Harmed by the Punishment System.
In addition to other elements of the platform that will help dismantle structural racism, there must be further efforts to create racial justice, including through healing, community empowerment, and the provision of reparations to people and communities devastated by the incarceration system. Ensure that the impact of all of the above on women and LGBTI people, as well as the additional unique needs of and impacts of incarceration on women and LGBTI people, are at the forefront of all policy changes. Ensure all people – particularly those most targeted by the punishment system – are treated humanely, with dignity and respect, including queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming people, as well as people with mental health needs.
- Racial Justice: Establish Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, and reparations, for the harms of mass incarceration, policing, segregation, and slavery, including A. 7274A / S. 5624A; and utilize racial and ethnic impact statements to prohibit any justice policy that would exacerbate racial disparities, A. 7519 / S. 5921 and A. 5851.
- Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission in NY, and/or other mechanisms for truth, reconciliation, and reparations related to the harms of mass incarceration and policing (in addition to slavery, segregation, etc.).
- Reduce the incarceration of women and ensure the particular needs of women who are incarcerated are addressed and protected.
- Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA), A. 3110 / S. 5116: grant judges discretion to sentence DV survivors convicted of offenses caused by that violence to shorter sentences or alternative-to-incarceration program
- Protect people with mental health needs, and physical and cognitive limitations, in the community, including through increased resources for community-based mental health care, crisis intervention teams and greater training of police officers, ATIs, and insanity plea reform.
- Protect people with mental illness and physical and cognitive limitations, so long as they remain incarcerated, including greater mental health care, better communication with families, expanded residential programs, making alternative mental health units more therapeutic and rehabilitative, and greater suicide prevention.
- Support members of the LGBTI community, including by ending over-criminalization and policing, keeping LGBTI people out of youth and adult prisons, ensuring LGBTI people’s safety in the community and if incarcerated, and providing culturally sensitive interventions and support.
- Pre-Trial Justice: adopt bold speedy trial, S.7006B, bail, S.3579A, and discovery law reform, S.7722; stop indiscriminate and coerced use of plea bargains that terminate defendants’ rights; and expand funding for legal representation, in order to ensure fairness, dramatically reduce the number of people in jail and prison, stop jail expansion, end pre-trial detention in almost all cases, end poverty-based detention, and refrain from using risk assessment instruments or other approaches that claim to predict dangerousness and reinforce existing inequalities.
- Release People On Time: Ensure that no people are held in prison beyond their sentence’s maximum expiration date, regardless of their crime of conviction, ease housing restrictions on people convicted of sex offenses, create more suitable housing options for people coming home from prison, and generate a separate waiting list for women awaiting shelter placement.
- End surveillance, infiltration, entrapment, and predatory prosecutions and incarceration of Black, Latino, Muslim, Arab, and South Asian people and communities.
- Increase resources for, decrease caseload sizes of, and improve quality of public defense.