Criminal Justice Reform

The United States of America was founded on ideas of freedom, justice, and equality for all. The United States of America was also founded on slavery, racism, and the genocide of indigenous peoples. Our current criminal justice system, rather than reflecting the ideals of freedom, justice, and equality we are striving for, instead embodies the institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia that has carried over from our formation. This is actively hurting everyday Americans, and does not align with a progressive America in which people of all races, genders, sexual identities, abilities, and socioeconomic status are given the same opportunities for upward mobility.

Solomon recognizes that the status quo is absolutely unacceptable. It is unacceptable that the United States has incarcerated more people than any other country on the planet. It is unacceptable that our prisons incarcerate Black Americans at nearly four times the rate of white Americans for marijuana use. And it is unacceptable that there are currently hundreds of thousands of Americans in jail simply because they are unable to pay their bail, effectively criminalizing poverty and rewarding wealth.

This is why Solomon supports the following criminal justice reforms.

Ending for-profit incarceration 

For-profit prisons prioritize money over the basic human rights of their occupants. Inmates in private prisons are 2-3 times more likely to be assaulted than inmates in public prisons, highlighting the inherent inhumanity of these facilities. For-profit prisons are also destroying entire communities. Corporations and police departments make more than $1 billion dollars a year by charging families exorbitant prices to call their incarcerated loved ones. This prison phone monopoly negatively impacts the 1 in 28 children whose parents are incarcerated. It has been shown that children with an incarcerated parent tend to do worse academically, experience higher rates of depression and anxiety, and develop more behavioral issues.

Solomon believes that corporations should not be able to make themselves rich by exploiting our most vulnerable communities. That is why Solomon supports the following policies. 

  • Once elected, Solomon will work to abolish all for-profit prisons.

  • Solomon will ensure that all video and phone calls from loved ones to those incarcerated are free. 

  • Currently, police departments rely on fines for funding. This is obviously a conflict of interest, and Solomon will work to change this system.

  • Any bill that changes our re-entry system for helping people get back into society into one that does not depend on profit to function. 

  • The No Money Bail Act of 2018 because he believes that those with less wealth should not be punished with waiting 100 days in jail, while those with more wealth are allowed to go free.

Ending war-on-drugs 

Solomon will: 

  • Support the federal legalization of marijuana, as well as vacating and expunging past marijuana convictions.

  • Help decriminalize the possession of buprenorphine, which is often used to treat opioid addiction. Solomon will also support any measure that provides funding and regulation for first responders to carry naloxone, a fast acting drug that prevents/reverses opioid overdoses. 

  • Raise the requirements for federalizing drug charges.

  • Legalize safe injection sites and needle exchanges.

Addiction is not a crime 

  • Solomon believes that those who are suffering from addiction should not be treated as criminals. That is why he supports providing robust mental health services for those who struggle with addiction. These services would include both inpatient and outpatient care.

  • Solomon will support any measure that abolishes the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine.

Police Reform 

Resources for Police

Police in the United States put their lives on the line everyday in order to protect and serve their community. In recognition of this, Solomon believes in providing the police force with the necessary resources to make their jobs and lives less strenuous. Police are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. This is unacceptable and dangerous for both the police and civilians. Police are currently expected to act as social workers, mental health professionals, and first responders by responding to all emergency calls, whether they are serious crimes or simple wellness checks. Solomon supports the following policies to help the police force and the community by taking some of the stress out of the job. Solomon will support:

  • Legislation that provides funding for the creation of a civilian force of social workers, mental health professionals, and EMTs to respond to situations that don’t need the presence of police. These include mental health emergencies, low level conflicts, and order maintenance violations. This will allow the police to focus on serious crimes.

  • Full mental health services for the police force. This will be included in Medicare For All.

 

Police Oversight 

The police force in the United States also needs to be held to a much higher standard. Solomon realizes that the current system allows for excessive use of force, and racial profiling often goes uninvestigated and unpunished. This is absolutely unacceptable, and that is why Solomon supports the following policies. Solomon will:

  • Work to create a federal database to record all police incidents that involve excessive use of force. 

  • Increase funding to states and cities to establish civilian oversight agencies.

  • Mandate the use of body cameras. However, we must also establish a third party agency to oversee the storage and release of police body camera footage. There must also be legislation that requires that body cameras must always be on.

  • Support criminal charges to those who perform police misconduct that violates the civil rights of individuals. 

  • Support limiting the use of “Qualified Immunity”, as well as banning the use of facial recognition software by the police and the FBI.

  • Support funding and requirements for police departments to perform implicit bias, cultural competency, de-escalation, crisis intervention, adolescent development, and mental health and disability training. 

  • Work to change the forfeiture laws system. Currently, law enforcement profits off of civil asset forfeiture laws. This is obviously a conflict of interest.

  • Work to abolish the death penalty, and he supports ending three strike laws.

  • Expand the use of sentencing alternatives such as halfway houses and community supervision.

  • Work to decriminalize homelessness. 

  • Does not support the prosecution of children under 18 in adult courts, will ensure youth are not jailed for misdemeanor offenses, and recognizes that juveniles should not be housed in adult facilities.

  • Work to demilitarize the police force, which will free up more resources for mental wellness and anti-bias training.

  • Support any policy that will end over policing in communities of color, as well as actively oppose laws that would expand over policing in these communities (such as stop and frisk etc). 

 

Humane Incarceration - Human Rights 

Solomon Will: 

  • Work to end solitary confinement. 

  • Ensure every school has the necessary school counselors, as this will help combat the school-to-prison pipeline.

  • Support decriminalization of truancy for children and adults .

  • Work with teachers, school administrators, and disability rights movements to end restraint and seclusion discipline in schools.

  • help provide access to free medical care in prisons and jails, as well as access to free educational and vocational training.

  • Support legislation that will ensure that all Americans have the right to vote, including those who are incarcerated.

  • Support any bill that makes expungement more accessible.

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PAID FOR BY SOLOMON RAJPUT FOR CONGRESS

P.O. Box 980133, Ypsilanti, MI 48198