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Criminal Justice Reform Plan

THE PEOPLE FOR TERRELL MCKINNEY

Our campaign has put together a six-part criminal justice reform plan which covers Prison Reform, Re-Entry, Police Accountability, Parole and Probation Reform, System Reform, & Juvenile Justice. We understand that criminal justice reform is needed in Nebraska and we hope assist in making the necessary changes to decrease our state prison population and the amount of individuals affected by the criminal justice system.

PRISON REFORM

  • Sentencing reform:
  • Mandatory minimum reduction
  • Consider sentences on a case by case basis
  • Enacting presumptive parole, second-look sentencing, and other common-sense reforms, such as expanding good time.
  • All of these changes should be made retroactive and must include people convicted of both violent and nonviolent offenses.
  • Adopt sentencing “safety valve” laws, which give judges the ability to deviate from the mandatory minimum under specified circumstances.
  • Improve correctional facilities
  • Create a statewide agency charged with evaluating conditions of correctional facilities that have independent oversight
  • Create statewide healthcare standards
  • Transform the bail system in the state of Nebraska
  • Consider the individual in deciding whether someone can return home, not just how much money that person has. This approach makes the system more equitable and effective.
  • End cash bail system
  • Increase the number of defendants released on their recognizance
  • Enact legislation that would end the practice of solitary confinement
  • End the death penalty in Nebraska
  • Block the State Executive Branch from importing drugs utilized for Lethal Injection
  • Increase access to mental health and trauma services
  • State-wide protections for women and individuals that identify as LGBTQIA
  • Raise inmate pay for labor to be equal to our state’s minimum wage
  • Release senior inmates that are incarcerated for non-violent offenses
  • Also, place a priority on releasing elderly/sick inmates on a medically or humane release basis to focus on inmates within the prisons.
  • Parole to Payroll program - mandated unionization for inmates, guaranteed education/vocational training while serving time (mechanics, solar/wind installation, etc…)
  • Hold correctional officers to the same standards as police officers and require the same level of training

RE-ENTRY

  • End two-year waiting period and immediate restoration of voting rights / allowing inmates to vote while serving their time like in Vermont and Maine.
  • Immediate rights to fair housing and the ability to access public assistance programs like SNAP
  • A post-release social impairment mentorship program
  • Allocate more resources to programming
  • Build a relationship with employers to train individuals prior to release in Ag, IT, trades, and other emerging industries
  • Increase access and build relationships with transitional housing facilities across the state
  • Broadening set-aside and expungement laws for returning citizens to “clean up” their records.
  • Remove barriers to employment through an expansion of “ban-the-box” legislation and occupational licensing reform.

POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY

  • Establish statewide law enforcement accountability, policing policies, and standards to address police brutality:
  • Mandate recurring cultural competency and race equity training for all state and county administrative, prosecutorial, defense, facility, and programming staff
  • Mandatory, yearly implicit bias training for law enforcement/mental health evaluation (especially for officers who were former Military Service members)
  • PTSD training
  • Emotional intelligence evaluation
  • Institute independent Civilian Review Boards for every city and county throughout the state with powers to enforce recommendations including convictions for officers who abuse their power.
  • Public registry for misconduct infractions, brutality, and murder
  • Independent oversight
  • Independent prosecutorial oversight in situations that involve law enforcement
  • End qualified immunity
  • Strict liability for misconduct racism, murder, and brutality
  • Ban chokeholds, strangleholds, and shooting at moving vehicles across the state
  • End no-knock warrants and quick-knock warrants
  • Establish restrictions to prevent police departments from purchasing or using military weaponry
  • Implement effective early warning systems to proactively identify officers displaying problematic behavior and ensure accountability and appropriate early intervention.
  • Develop performance measures that reflect community policing, including tracking and measuring satisfaction and engagement with the community.
  • Create robust internal affairs mechanisms that operate independently and report directly to the organization’s head.
  • End the use of police in schools (SRO’s)
  • Restrict employment of officers with any violent criminal history prior to and during their term as an officer
  • Screen for white supremacist/nationalist affiliations

PAROLE & PROBATION REFORM

  • Transform the probation and parole system in the state of Nebraska to be less punitive and more rehabilitative
  • Cultural competency and racial equity training for all probation and parole officials and officers
  • Diversify probation and parole boards
  • Decrease the amount of time spent on both
  • 25-year parole eligibility for persons convicted of 1st-degree murder.
  • Non-revocable” parole, which is a lower-level of supervision for non-violent offenders
  • Offer programming after-release instead of mandating pre-release which impedes an individuals release on parole/probation
  • Enable early discharge by awarding compliance credits for successfully meeting probation’s requirements for a given period.
  • Pass legislation that would eliminate probation fees, require hearings on the ability to pay before assessing fees, and/or regulate the use of privatized probation.
  • States should limit incarceration as a response to supervision violations only when the individual has committed a new crime and poses a direct threat to public safety.
  • When incarceration is used to respond to technical violations, the length of time served should be limited and proportionate to the harm caused by the non-criminal rule violation.
  • Introduce and enforce legislation that would outlaw the imposition of electronic monitoring devices for individuals on parole.
  • Individuals forced to wear electronic monitors should not be required to pay for those devices nor be fined or re-incarcerated for their inability to pay monitoring fees.

SYSTEM REFORM

  • Incentivize recent law school graduates to become public defenders/reduce workload for public defenders to ensure a robust defense according to the 6th Amendment of the US Constitution
  • Sign into state law that all CA/DA data be disaggregated by, race, sex, zip code, and other pertinent identifiers
  • Legalize marijuana and also clear all marijuana convictions in the state of Nebraska
  • Using Tax revenue from marijuana to fund public education throughout the state as well as infrastructure projects.
  • Create a capital fund for those formerly convicted of marijuana charges
  • Required diversified jury panels especially in cities of the metropolitan size
  • Evaluate the racial impact of current and future legislation/policies from a racial equity lens
  • Set exact dates and times for board of pardons hearings
  • Add civilians to the board two from rural Nebraska and two from urban Nebraska
  • Diversify pardon board: require at least 3 people of color on board at all times
  • Invest more resources into problem-solving Courts, such as Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, or Veterans Courts.
  • Broaden pretrial diversion programs to allow for more participants.
  • Annual prosecutorial review/report for transparency
  • Increase the availability of pretrial release for all cases with conditions only when necessary
  • Offer pretrial services such as postcard or phone reminders to appear in court, transportation, and childcare assistance for court appearances
  • Referrals to drug treatment, mental health services, and other needed social services.
  • Encourage judges to use non-monetary sanctions, rather than fines and fees, and ensure that judges are holding indigency hearings before imposing and enforcing unaffordable fees.
  • Reclassify criminal offenses and turn misdemeanor charges that don’t threaten public safety into non-jailable infractions, or decriminalize them entirely.
  • Make citations, rather than arrest, the default action for low-level crimes.
  • Institute grace periods for missed court appearances to reduce the use of “bench warrants,” which lead to unnecessary incarceration for low-level and even “non-jailable” offenses.
  • Directly fund and administer the services that provide indigent defense; or (b) create a state entity with the authority to set, evaluate, and enforce indigent defense standards for services funded and administered by local governments.
  • Increase the dollar amount of a theft to qualify for felony punishment, and require that the threshold be adjusted regularly to account for inflation. This change should be made retroactive for all people currently in prison, on parole, or probation for felony theft.
  • Establish Community Reinvestment Initiatives to support community-based services in reentry, harm reduction, crime prevention, and underserved crime survivors.
  • End participation in the “equitable sharing” program, and requiring proceeds from forfeitures to go not to the police but a fund dedicated to community development, education, or crime victim compensation.
  • Pass legislation to count incarcerated people at home for redistricting purposes

JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM

  • Create new legislation and look at best practices nationally to address programming issues in the juvenile justice system
  • Culturally specific programing
  • Programs that are facilitated by grassroots organizations and leadership that reflect the juvenile detention population
  • Create new legislation and look at best practices nationally to address the lack of proactive measures in the juvenile justice system
  • Allocate resources to grassroots organizations that serve our juvenile population
  • Holistic family support education and resources
  • Create new legislation and look at best practices nationally to mandate recurring cultural competency and race equity training for all state and county administrative, prosecutorial, defense, facility, and programming staff
  • Create new legislation and look at best practices nationally to find alternatives to detaining youth accused of non-violent offenses
  • Community-based alternatives
  • Allocate resources to parent and family support groups
  • Enact legislation that gives the state more oversight on county and city decisions pertaining to juvenile justice
  • Eliminate juvenile life without the possibility of parole sentences.
  • Extend the juvenile court jurisdiction to age 25
  • Expand access to mental/trauma-based counseling in and outside of youth facilities

"ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE"