Criminal justice reform

Our criminal justice system is out of balance.

Criminal justice reform

People are crying out for criminal justice reform. Families are being torn apart by excessive incarceration. Young people are being threatened and humiliated by racial profiling. Children are growing up in homes shattered by prison and poverty. They’re trying to tell us. We need to listen.

Hillary Clinton, July 8, 2016

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but almost 25 percent of the total prison population. A significant percentage of the more than 2 million Americans incarcerated today are nonviolent offenders. African American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men found guilty of the same offenses.

To successfully reform our criminal justice system, we must work to strengthen the bonds of trust between our communities and our police, end the era of mass incarceration, and ensure a successful transition of individuals from prison to home. As president, Hillary will focus on a few key areas.

Strengthen bonds of trust between communities and police

Effective policing and constitutional policing go hand in hand. We can—and must—do both by:

End the era of mass incarceration

Today in America, more than one out of every 100 adults is behind bars. This mass incarceration epidemic has an explicit racial bias, as one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. A significant number of those incarcerated are held for low-level, nonviolent offenses. We must end the era of mass incarceration by:

Promote successful re-entry by formerly incarcerated individuals

This year, the number of people released from state or federal prison will reach approximately 600,000. For the sake of everyone given a second chance—as well as the health and safety of the communities to which they return—the pathway to re-entry should offer a fair opportunity for success. Hillary will work to remove barriers and create pathways to employment, housing, health care, education, and civic participation, including:

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