We must build on the momentum created by the decision to close Rikers and push for wider reforms to our justice system that improve the lives of all New Yorkers. Every year, taxpayers spend over 125 million dollars to incarcerate defendants unable to pay bail. Many of these individuals are low-level nonviolent offenders. Imagine what we could invest in with all the savings from a reduced inmate population: affordable housing, transportation infrastructure, better schools––the vital resources to make our city livable.
Marti's PLAN for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Prohibit the City from hiring contractors that build private prisons. We need to send a message that profiting of off mass incarceration is wrong and if you partner with these companies, you don’t deserve taxpayer dollars.
Pass the Right to Know Act, the legislative package that would improve communication and the relationship between police and civilians by requiring officers to identify themselves during an encounter, state their reason for making a stop, and explain the right to refuse a search where there is no legal justification.
End the prosecution of fare evaders citywide. No one should be sitting in jail for not being able to afford the cost of a subway ride. Diverting repeat offenders to community service programs instead of prosecuting them is less costly for our city and better for the future of these individuals.
Accelerate the closure of Rikers Island, as advocated by State Senator Brian Benjamin, to bring the injustices and wasted taxpayer dollars to an end. Through decreasing unnecessary arrests, finding alternatives to incarceration, and following through on the creation of a citywide bail fund for nonviolent and low-level offenders, we can work towards closing Rikers in less than 10 years.
- Empower the Civilian Complaint Review Board to initiate investigations without receiving a formal complaint, as supported by the good government group, Citizens Union. Without this reform, many incidents of known police misconduct that go unreported by citizens who fear reprisal or simply don’t know they have the option to file a complaint, could be investigated.
- Keep Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents out of our courts and schools. We need to resist Donald Trump’s bigoted war on our city’s immigrant population, whom we depend on for its contributions to the city’s economy, culture and vitality. Maintaining our status as a sanctuary city by refusing to cooperate with ICE/DHS when they overstep their bounds and use intimidation tactics will ensure that our city lives out its progressive values.