Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice System Reform

  • Pass the Emmett Till Antilynching Act (H.R. 35)
    • Previously passed the House, but not the Senate
  • Marijuana record expungement
  • Restore voting rights for felons
  • End for-profit private prisons
  • Mandatory jail sentences for white collar crime - fines have been baked into the bottom line as "doing business"
  • End Cash Bail
  • Decriminalize to de-prioritize their enforcement:
    • Consumption of alcohol on streets
    • Marijuana possession
    • Jaywalking
    • Bicycling on the sidewalk
    • Opioid use - those addicted are not criminals, they are suffering from a disease

Police Reform

Our communities have suffered for far too long with systematic failures with law enforcement. Why are we spending so much money? Why are we not safer than our peers spending less? Why has the police force become militarized? Why are innocent people being killed by police with no consequences? Action is needed now to transform the system at its core, so that the police can return to reasonable and safe law enforcement. Many issues are intimately handled at the local level, but there is a lot we can do at the federal level to establish regulations to be followed.

  • Establish community level Oversight Committee with police discipline power

    • All-civilian structure
    • Hold public disciplinary hearings
    • Discipline and dismiss police officers found of wrong doing
    • No current, former, or family of police officers as members
    • Regular training on policing and civil rights
    • Issue public quarterly reports containing complaints, demographics of complaints, status and findings of investigations into complaints, and actions taken
    • Establish multiple ways to submit, view, and discuss complaints
    • Establish process for all police stops to include a card with the police officer's name, badge number, reason for stop, and instructions for filing a complaint to the Oversight Committee
  • All killings by police are independently investigated and prosecuted

    • Independent investigator required to be sent to the scene of the death
    • Investigation report made public
  • Every police officer gets a camera

    • Allow citizens to review footage of themselves and request this to be released to the public
    • Store body and dash cam footage externally so the public (if citizen in video requests), district attorneys, and Oversight Committee have access to view but not edit
    • If police department denies a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request they must prove in court that the FOIA request constitutes a legitimate exemption
    • Disciplinary matrix defining consequences for officers who do not adhere to body cam policy
    • Prevent officers from reviewing footage of an incident before completing initial reports or statements
  • Require police departments to bear the cost of misconduct

    • Cost of misconduct settlements to be paid out of the police department budget instead of the general fund of the City, Town, Village, County, or State.
    • Restrict police departments from receiving money from the general fund when they go over-budget on lawsuit payments
  • National police database to prevent fired police officers to get a job at the next town over

    • Officers found of misconduct and relieved of their duties are nationally blacklisted
    • Remove police union contract provisions that restrict:
      • Destroying records of past misconduct from their disciplinary file
      • Preventing disciplinary records from being released to the public via FOIA
      • Preventing an officer's name and picture being released to the public
      • Police Chief having the sole authority to discipline police officers
    • Prohibit officers receiving paid administrative leave or paid desk-duty during investigations
    • Prohibit officers from being able to use vacation or discretionary time to pay themselves while on unpaid suspension
  • Increased training

    • Semiannual mandatory scenario-based training in the following areas:
      • De-escalation and minimizing use of force
      • Implicit bias
      • Community interaction
      • Crisis intervention and conflict resolution
      • Appropriate engagement with youth, LGBTQ+, and non-primary English language speakers
    • Prospective police offers require mandatory implicit racial bias testing including shoot/don't shoot decision-making
    • Every police officer is trained in martial arts - guns-last mentality
  • Demilitarization

    • End the federal 1033 program that provides military weapons to local police departments
      • $733,000 Mine Resistant Vehicle = Neenah & Dodge County
      • $65,000 Armored Truck = Ozaukee County & Marquette County
    • Restrict police departments from using federal grant money to purchase military equipment
    • Ban no-knock raids
    • Restrict deploying armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft, drones, Stingray surveillance equipment, camouflage uniforms, tear gas, and grenade launchers
  • Divert Funds

    • This does NOT mean getting rid of police, it means transforming how we support our communities and the role law enforcement plays in them
    • Gradually reducing funds for law enforcement and redirecting to community programming, education, and healthcare - tax dollars should go more towards humane policies
    • Divert funds to programs that can adequately support communities - police are expected to manage many problems, but they do not have the capacity of expertise to do so
      • Public housing to fight homelessness
      • Resources to battle addiction
      • Mental health support and response teams
      • Community violence prevention programs
    • Many cities and counties spend upwards of nearly 40% of their budget on the police force
      • City of Oshkosh = 29%
      • Winnebago County = 18%
      • City of Cedarburg - 37%
      • City of Sheboygan = 32%
      • Sheboygan County = 14%
      • City of Fond du Lac = 29%
      • City of Neenah = 27%
      • City of Menasha = 27%
      • Town of Rosendale = 24%
      • City of Portage = 35%
      • City of Ripon = 29%
      • City of Beaver Dam = 32%
      • City of Mequon = 32%

Additional Content

Note: The plans I support are above, the links below are for additional reading on the topic of criminal justice and police reform.