I am a strong supporter of criminal justice reform
- I believe that our current justice system incarcerates far too many people and that the incarceration rate in Texas is an embarrassment. 726,000 Texans are behind bars
- I believe that behavior that does not involve force or fraud should not be crimes and should not result in incarceration – there are currently more than 3,200 persons serving life sentences for property or non-violent crimes.
- I favor an open minded discussion in Texas leading to substantial criminal justice reform that would include:
- Repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as gambling, the possession or use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes, and consensual transactions involving sexual services
- Community based treatment instead of incarceration to address the connection between substance abuse and the criminal justice system
- Expand Second Chance policies to emphasize education, counselling and mental health treatment over incarceration
Immediate action that Texas should take:
- Texas should pass statewide bail reform and immediately abolish unconstitutional debtors prisons – bail is intended to ensure people appear for their scheduled court date, it should not be used as a punishment
- Texas Courts can immediately halt the practice of suspending driver’s licenses – suspended licenses cause income interruption, job loss and homelessness – additionally the charge of Driving While License Invalid should be abolished, or be limited to a Class C misdemeanor and should never involve jail time.