In August, the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren campaigns presented their proposals to reform the U.S. criminal justice system. Both plans are undeniably ambitious and more radical than the plans of any viable Presidential candidate in recent history. For instance, both plans commit to drastic reductions in the incarcerated population and reforms on police use of force and police accountability. Both plans address the failed drug war, and set out to end discriminatory practices like cash bail. They also call for demilitarizing the police, investing in prevention/diversion, and ending the aggressive criminalization of poverty, homelessness, addiction, and mental illness or disability.
However, Bernie Sanders’ ‘Justice and Safety for All’ plan is unique in that it carries an undercurrent of police and prison abolitionism. It also reflects a re-conceptualization of crime from a democratic socialist lens. These characteristics set the Sanders plan apart because of the opportunity it…
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