All the Democrats are apparently being put on call to release their grand plans to restructure American society in its new, more woke format. And that rule apparently isn’t limited to only the several dozen who are (or were) running for President. Ayanna Pressley has now released her social justice platform designed to “overhaul America’s criminal justice system.” This isn’t even a piece of legislation. It’s just a framework for the federal government and the states to “fix” our society and how we uphold the law. Buckle up, campers. This may be a bumpy ride. (Free Beacon)
The plan, according to Pressley’s office, is designed to fix a “racist, xenophobic, rogue, and fundamentally flawed criminal legal system,” replacing it with a system that is “smaller, safer, less punitive, and more humane.” The result is not a legislative proposal, but a resolution that outlines broad goals and lacks concrete details for implementation.
Pressley’s proposal goes beyond the criminal justice reform platforms floated by 2020 Democrats—including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), whom Pressley has endorsed and campaigned with. The Pressley plan is perhaps best read as a laundry list of what the left wing of the Democratic Party would implement at the national level, and what local and state-level progressives are already implementing.
So our criminal justice system is… what was that again? Oh, yes. Racist, xenophobic, rogue, and fundamentally flawed Alrighty, then. Let’s see what we need to get to work on, shall we?
First, we’re either going to decriminalize or legalize “victimless crimes” to scale back mass incarceration. These would include marijuana possession and prostitution. As the Free Beacon points out, prostitution accounts for 0.3 percent of arrests in the United States and almost nobody spends any real time behind bars for it unless they’re engaged in human trafficking. Possessing pot accounts for less than one percent of people in jail.
Just for the record, I have no problem with legalizing prostitution, but it’s not going to impact the overcrowding we see in prisons. I’ve been having some second thoughts about marijuana legalization lately after some new studies came out showing how modern, stronger strains are potentially linked to increased rates of psychosis, but it can still be on the table.
Pressley also wants to take a page from San Francisco’s playbook and stop prosecuting “quality of life crimes.” Those would include things like urinating and defecating on the streets, camping on sidewalks and soliciting sex. (Preferably not in your urine and dung covered sidewalk tent.) She also wants to make illegal border crossings a civil crime with no serious penalties and forbid all local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration issues.
And none of these measures are truly going to turn things around unless they are combined with some other big, societal initiatives. With that in mind, she wants to see “a federal housing guarantee, a jobs guarantee, taxpayer funding for abortion, a Green New Deal, and reparations for slavery.” So is that it? Are you sure that’s all you need?
The vast majority of people in prison are there for violent crimes, gun crimes and drug trafficking. None of these measures are going to significantly cut down on the prison population. And when we stop enforcing “low-level” laws, the livability of most areas goes downhill. Such lax measures also lead to a proliferation of more serious crimes. That’s why broken windows was such an effective policy in New York City and other places where it was tried.
But Ms. Pressley would rather redirect our efforts and resources to reining in the police, kneecapping immigration officials and flushing our budget into pet social justice projects. Let’s keep in mind that these things are no longer fringe ideas in the Democratic Party. This is pretty much mainstream thinking among most of them now. And you want to hand over control of the country to them again?
Best of luck. I’ll be in my bunker stocking up on water filters.