Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke would end mass incarceration by repealing portions of the 1994 crime bill and investing $500 million into a pilot program to develop alternatives to incarceration, his campaign said in a plan released Monday.
The former Texas congressman focuses on ending mass incarceration while reforming the criminal justice system to prioritize rehabilitation.
ADVERTISEMENT“It’s unacceptable that America, the home of the free, locks up more of our own than any other country on the face of the planet, as we continue to have the world’s largest prison population — disproportionately comprised of people of color,” O’Rourke said.
In addition to calling for a repeal of portions of the 1994 crime bill, O’Rourke said he would ban private, for-profit prison systems and end the cash bail system.
O’Rourke joins many of his fellow 2020 candidates in calling for the private-prison ban, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.).
He also said he’d set a goal to reduce incarceration by at least 25,000 inmates during his first term and would call on governors to set their own “aggressive” clemency goals.
O’Rourke added that he would restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals.
His plan also calls for abolishing the death penalty as part of O’Rourke’s goal to “prioritize fair treatment and rehabilitation during incarceration.” Nearly all Democrats running in the primary have said they would eliminate capital punishment.
O’Rourke said he would also expand access to health care and make Pell Grants available to prisoners and increase access to apprenticeship programs.
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