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Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform

As a social worker I have worked with individuals whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system. Whether it’s individuals who have received jail time for small-time drug offenses or individuals with mental health issues that have been imprisoned and deprived of decent medical treatment–our criminal justice system is not working. Our system of mass incarceration is not working–and systemic racism has led to an institution which targets and unfairly imprisons people of color and puts a penalty on poverty. 

I believe in second chances, I believe that locking someone up and stripping them of there human rights is not only ineffective but inhuman. I believe that the war on drugs has been detrimental to so many people and has just led to further incarcerations for minor offenses while not addressing the root cause of issues around overdoses. I believe that the fact that our country spends more on prisons than education is not only deeply flawed but shows where our priorities have incorrectly lied. Correctional commercialization has put a burden on the taxpayer and prioritized life sentences over rehabilitation. I uphold the value of life–with a belief that the criminal justice system often strips individuals of their protected rights and dignity.  “Nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” 

We need to work to address the root causes of violence and acknowledge gun violence for what it is–a public health crisis. I was in high school during the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut and still vividly remember the horror I felt as we sat in lock down. Common sense gun laws can be enacted while still protecting individuals’ right to the second amendment. We can’t continue to let generations grow up in a world where doing active shooter drills is normalized and my experience is often too relatable. 

I will passionately advocate for criminal justice reform by: 

Invest in our Youth and Communities

Legalization of marijuanna and decriminalization of small time drug offenses
Enacting common sense gun legislation
Increase funding and presence for programs like RESOLVE that offer an alternative to call for mental health crisis as opposed to 911
Increase training requirements for first responders on mental health issues and responding to a mental health crisis
Recognize and utilize a comprehensive public health approach to prioritize strategies that influence criminal behavior
Increase funding to the Public Defenders’ Office to ensure everyone has the ability for representation


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PO Box 97919 Pittsburgh PA 15227