Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton unveiled her proposal for a criminal justice reform on Friday and pledged to end an era of mass incarceration.
While being at the Democratic candidates’ forum at the Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Clinton unveiled new details about her long waited criminal justice reform, with specific proposal on reducing prison time for nonviolent offenses and reforming the mandatory minimum sentencing laws. She also called on expanding the government’s authority in investigating potential civil rights violations by the law enforcement agencies.
Her platform on criminal justice has become one of the central elements of her Presidential bid for the 2016 Elections and has gained great support, most prominently after the much publicized officer-involved murders of young black men and women in the United States.
Her agenda is in accord with the agenda of the Obama administration and has gained a large support by the civil rights movements, particularly Black Lives Matters.
According to Reuters, issues of mass incarceration and criminal justice affect African Americans much more, with black men being six times more likely to be imprisoned.
Among the reforms that Clinton proposed on Friday is reducing prison time for nonviolent offenses and reforming the mandatory minimum sentencing laws to have a retroactive effect, meaning early release of some prisoners. She also called for a reform of the current strike system and removing nonviolent drug offenses from that system. Another endorsement of her part is the reform that has gained a bipartisan support for expansion of the so-called “safety valve”, a reform that would enable judges a much greater discretion to break with the mandatory minimum sentence for certain nonviolent offenders.
Clinton also highlighted the importance of law enforcement officers to receive periodic training throughout their careers, as well as an upgraded law enforcement accountability with the Department of Justice. She proposed a Department of Justice reform that would in order to improve the capacity of the civil rights division in investigating law enforcement agencies in securing subpoena and data collection improvement.
Hillary Clinton has been the Democrat that has gathered the largest following ever since she announced her candidacy earlier this year and has faced some challenge by Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll from the 3rd of November shows that Clinton has received the support of 59% of those surveyed, in contrast to the 26% that have showed support for Sanders.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been making proposals to tackle the criminal justice system for a long time, with reforms that include banning racial profiling by law enforcement officers and eliminating sentencing disparities for crack and powder cocaine offenses.