Time for Democrats to get Serious about Criminal Justice Reform!

Support an end to Mass Incarceration and Justice for People of Color!

The platform ideas below will come before you as delegates, and we hope you support them all:

  • Raise the Age. Calls on the Lege to raise the age of adult criminal culpability from 17 to 18.
  • End debtors prisons. End the jailing of individuals because they cannot pay tickets, fines, and fees for Class C misdemeanors, including traffic infractions.
  • Pre-trial release. People are innocent until proven guilty, but can’t get out of jail if they can’t make bail. Pre-trial release should be based on a person’s risk to the community and likeliness of returning to court, not how much money they have.
  • Close prisons. Make our prison system safer by consolidating prison populations and closing the hardest to staff, least safe facilities. Close the remaining state juvenile facilities. Stop warehousing youth and keep them at better staffed, smaller facilities closer to home.
  • Pot possession. The party at a minimum, the party should endorse reducing penalties for low-level marijuana possession from a Class B misdemeanor to a civil offense (essentially, a $100 ticket) so people do not have a criminal record.
  • Reduce penalties for drug possession less than a gram and use the money saved by reduced incarceration to fund treatment for addiction.
  • Abolition of the Driver Responsibility Program. Fees added by the state to traffic infractions create an unending cycle of debt and 1.2 million have lost their drivers licenses. We must repeal this program and immediately restore the driver licenses of the citizens whose licenses were suspended by the DRP and to cancel their debt.
  • Opposition to warrantless government surveillance. The Legislature should require a warrant for the government to access cell-phone location data.
  • Medical marijuana. At a minimum, allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis for certified patients.
  • Militarization of police. The lege should develop reporting and training standards for military equipment obtained by police from the federal 1033 program and require that the elected governing body approve such equipment with a formal vote.
  • Indigent defense. Fully fund legal representation for people who can’t afford a lawyer.
  • No More Sandra Blands.End arrests for Class C misdemeanors like failure to signal a lane change or other traffic infractions (except when necessary to prevent family violence)
  • Consent to search. Require recorded consent before an officer can search your car at a traffic stop.
  • Use of force reporting. Expand current statewide death in custody data to include incidents resulting in injury to either an officer or a civilian.
  • De-escalation. Require de-escalation as a matter of departmental policy as well as police officer training.
  • Deadly force. Limit use of firearms and tasers to self-defense or defense of others.
  • Require a criminal conviction for asset forfeiture
  • Listen to some of the leading Texas activists who have been promoting criminal justice reform at the state and local level.

    Who and what!

    Scott Henson, host of the Just Liberty podcast “Reasonably Suspicious,” has gathered some of the state’s leading progressive activists to discuss why these criminal justice priorities matter! Hear from Chas Moore, Founder of the Austin Justice Coalition, and our own Sukyi McMahon, who is running for the permanent platform committee.

    If you want to save it for later, download it to your phone!

    You probably know other people who support criminal justice reform. Take a moment to share Just Liberty with them. You can share our website on Facebook or Twitter using the links below.