On Friday in Atlanta, Hillary Clinton will outline specific measures to reform the U.S. criminal justice system and address racial disparities that Black Lives Matter supporters, in particular, have demanded that presidential candidates address. A source from the campaign underscored the Democratic hopeful's recent sentiments that we must recognize some hard truths about race and justice in America in order to achieve significant change.
Her plan dovetails statements she made earlier this spring about ending “the era of mass incarceration” and outfit every police department with body cameras. The campaign official pointed to statistics that the United States makes up less than five percent of the world’s population, but almost 25 percent of the total prison population – a number of which are disproportionately African American.
Clinton's plan will zero in on three key areas: policing, incarceration, and re-entry into society. The proposals to be outlined on Friday will include the following two initiatives.
Eliminating the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine by changing the ratio from 18-1 to 1-1.
Clinton is expected to fight to ensure equal amounts of crack and powder cocaine carry equal sentences and apply this change retroactively. The current 18-1 disparity still reflects discredited perceptions about crack cocaine. Crack and powder cocaine are two forms of the same drug, but continuing to treat them differently disproportionately hurts African Americans.
Putting a stop to racial profiling
If elected president, Clinton says she will support legislation to ban racial profiling by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials by prohibiting them from using a person’s race as a factor when conducting routine or spontaneous investigatory activities, unless there is reliable and credible information linking the person to a particular criminal incident or scheme.
This story will be updated following the formal announcement, so please check back for further information on Clinton's proposed policy.
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