We must act to bring our justice system up to the standards of fairness, equity, and true impartiality that all New Yorkers deserve. Spending millions in locking people in cages is not economic development. In some cases, millions of taxpayer dollars per city block are being spent on incarceration. That’s money that could be spent on schools and education, job development, entrepreneurship, investing in infrastructure, or many other investments that far better serve the public. I see the urgent need for a top to bottom reexamining – and action! – on bail reform, parole reform, prison reform, and measures that will make our justice system uphold our values.
These issues are intertwined with our nation’s history, the long history of abuse, exploitation, and oppression. These issues are also connected with the need for high quality public services in all our communities – including addressing trauma and community trauma.
“Raise the Age” and the other reforms to end mass incarceration are part of a move toward a more humane justice system and the civil and human rights that define our fundamental values as New Yorkers.