Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday released some details of his criminal justice plan, pledging to reduce police officer's deadly force and focus on youth rehabilitation initiatives.   

Bloomberg has promised to sign the Violence Against Women Act and has a broader goal of slicing the current incarceration rate in half by 2030. His proposal also pledges $22.5 billion to launch a Justice Department program to enhance oversight and funding inmate reform programs, and spend an additional $2.5 billion on highly-trained public defense over the next 10 years. 

Bloomberg has been under scrutiny over his past criminal justice policies. The stop-and-frisk policy he defending during his time as mayor of New York has been widely criticized for targeting minorities and people of color.

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A recent New York Times article chronicled his apology on the issue, including telling an audience at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn that he "didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities."

Pointing to a need for equality in criminal justice reform, Bloomberg has proposed more funding for new “family justice centers,” which would work to support and rehabilitate victims of domestic violence, gun violence and human trafficking, as well as establishing “restorative justice centers” at historically black colleges and universities.

Bloomberg says in Tuesday's press release that his mayoral administration reduced incarceration by about 40 percent, but pointedly states that he will "invest in community-led programs to rebuild trust in our justice system, prevent discrimination against Americans who have served time and help them access jobs and opportunity — while ending cash bail, court fees, and other unfair practices that disproportionately impact low-income Americans."

Published on Feb 18, 2020