Biden has announced a range of criminal justice reforms that will break the cycle of crime and incarceration, shifting the emphasis towards rehabilitation and prevention. He has called for an end to the death penalty, and wants to scale back solitary confinement practices.
Biden’s campaign site also announces that “no one should be incarcerated for drug use alone” and that drug courts and treatments should be used instead.
Biden also wants to end cash bail, which he calls the “modern-day debtors prison”, since it injects discrimination into the system, punishing low-income individuals.
He will also introduce measures to help former prisoners to find work, extending the ‘ban the box’ initiative.
Biden will also end mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crimes by introducing a $20bn grant scheme which will also combat child abuse and promote education.
On policing, Biden has rejected calls to defund the police, and has instead proposed a $300m investment in the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) programme to improve police training and achieve racial diversity in the force.
He also wants to expand mental health and social services to drive crime prevention, particularly in schools, and will create a new commission to review police behaviour and punish wrongdoing, which will be expanded to cover chokeholds.
These reforms will transform the US criminal justice system and will break cycles of re-offence and incarceration. Taking a more compassionate approach to criminal justice, Biden will reduce inmate numbers and will help individuals return to mainstream society.