These common-sense policies will ensure our criminal justice system is smarter on crime and softer on taxpayers.
• Prohibiting Use of a Chokehold - Disallows the use of a chokehold by police or correctional officers in prison/jail unless the use of deadly force is justified.
• Expansion of Record Sealing - State law allows individuals with certain criminal convictions to get their record sealed after a period of time unless they spent any of their sentence in prison. Lawmakers should remove this unnecessary exclusion and allow those who served a portion of their sentence behind bars to be eligible to get their record sealed. The formerly incarcerated face severe challenges in reentering society. Allowing for the sealing of records would help ensure that people don’t face unneeded barriers to getting a job, finding a place to live, and restarting their lives.
• Duty to Intervene/Report by Law Enforcement - Requires a law enforcement officer who observes another officer using excessive force to intervene through verbal or physical means to stop the use of excessive force. The officer must also report to their immediate supervisor.
• Parole Equity Act - In 2011, certain changes were made to lower sentencing maximums for controlled substance violations, which in turn reduced the time when an incarcerated individual would be eligible for parole. This has caused large and unnecessary discrepancies between those sentenced before and after the measure was enacted. Lawmakers should allow the Parole Board to calculate the parole eligibility date for those sentenced before 2011 as if they were sentenced today. This would bring more equity to these release decisions and allow them to be based on public safety, rather than an arbitrary date. With COVID-19 sweeping through our jails and prisons, we should prioritize the limited space those convicted of the most serious offenses.