No person in America should be locked up because they are too poor. But right now we have people who are homeless arrested for sleeping outside; parents who cannot afford to purchase their release from jail; and people who cycle in and out of jail because they are unable to afford to pay old fines even as new ones pile on. Worse yet, we have corporations making billions of dollars on the backs of our poorest communities. From bail bondsmen to private probation companies, people are getting rich off suffering and incarceration. Even cities and counties fill their coffers from the fines and fees that are imposed upon people who are struggling just to survive. We need a criminal legal system that puts people over profit, and that helps to make vulnerable people more stable, not less stable.
- Drastically reduce the pretrial jail population in America by ending money bail and establish, in its place, a strong presumption of release.
- End the imposition of fines and fees in the criminal legal system except for situations where the person has the clear ability to pay.
- Do not criminally prosecute low-level offenses that are a direct manifestation of addiction, homelessness, mental illness, poverty, or youth.