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Tuesday 19th of November 2019

Press Room

Key Takeaways From Biden's Criminal Justice Reform Plan

Thursday 25th of July 2019 | North America, United States
Pacific Standard
News

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden unveiled a wide-reaching plan on Tuesday with goals to reduce prison populations, create a more just society, and increase community safety.

Amid ongoing criticism over his record on race and crime, former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden unveiled a wide-reaching criminal justice reform plan on Tuesday with goals to reduce prison populations, create a more just society, and increase community safety.

The Biden Plan for Strengthening America's Commitment to Justice calls attention to mass incarceration and the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the criminal justice system. The plan also emphasizes a need for the system to center around rehabilitation and redemption rather than punishment.

Here is a breakdown of the plan's core action areas and key items Biden hopes to achieve in each category, plus ways his plan compares to those of other Democratic hopefuls.

PREVENTING CRIME AND PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES

Biden emphasizes a need to address underlying factors, such as growing up in foster care or having a mental-health or substance abuse disorder, that increase likelihood of incarceration. He wants to create a $20 billion competitive grant program giving states, counties, and cities funds to launch preventative efforts to reduce crime and incarceration if they comply with certain requirements, like eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes.

His approach to preventing crime includes investments in education, particularly for students from low-income families. His vision includes expanding public pre-K and making community college free, both popular ideas within the Democratic field.

Biden intends to extend health insurance coverage so that more Americans with mental-health and substance abuse disorders have access to treatment. He wants to increase overall funding for mental-health services and double the number of health professionals in schools. He also hopes to partner mental-health professionals, social workers, and disability advocates with police departments to train officers to improve their communication with people with certain disabilities.

 

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