Harris faced questions about her record as a prosecutor in San Francisco and later as California’s attorney general, and whether she had been committed enough to “progressive prosecution.” She defended her actions, positioning herself as the only Democratic candidate who has taken tangible steps toward “reforming the criminal justice system.” The senator pointed to her creation of a reentry and job training program, for example.Harris’s critics say she opted for the most politically palatable programs while shying away from more substantive approaches, like declining to prosecute more low-level offenses, that could have reduced the number sent to prison each year in California.
As senator, Harris has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s First Step legislation, calling it a “compromise of a compromise.” The act granted early release for thousands of non-violent drug offenders. Harris said Monday that did not go far enough. “You took a step, but you just learned how to walk,” she said. “We need the plan for step ten.”She said on day one as president, she would conduct a comprehensive audit of the criminal justice system to understand areas for reform. Her plan also includes allocating federal funding to help local counties clear people’s criminal records, removing clemency from the Department of Justice and legalizing marijuana.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Are the Dems taking criminal justice reform seriously enough?
On Monday, at a forum involving former prisoners, only three Democratic nominees showed up to answer questions. One of them is former prosecutor Kamala Harris, who has a terrible record on criminal justice reform. Meantime, Donald Trump is speaking about criminal justice reform at every turn. This issue has traditionally belonged to the left, but it seems to be up for grabs in the next election. From the Marshall Project: