Prosecutors call for Biden focus on criminal justice reform
A group of more than 100 advocates wrote a letter to President Biden on Tuesday calling for him to establish a task force on prosecution to reform the criminal justice system in the U.S.
In their letter, the group of former and current prosecutors, attorneys general, criminal justice leaders and law enforcement figures called on the Biden-Harris administration to create what they called a “Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Prosecution” before the end of the year.
They recommended that the task force be modeled after former President Obama’s Presidential Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which was created by Obama in 2014 following the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., after the police shooting of Michael Brown.
“The evidence is clear: our nation’s decades of “tough on crime” practices have not created safety and have been an anathema to justice,” the group wrote. “The United States detains 2.3 million people in prisons, jails, and confinement facilities, more than any other democratic nation. Racial, ethnic, and class disparities pervade the criminal legal system: American justice is far from equal.”
Apart from communities that have been negatively impacted by the negative effects of “over-policing and over-incarceration,” the group also stated that survivors of crime are not receiving the care they need.
“The traditional punitive approach to prosecution has not made us safer and it has not brought justice. We urge the Biden-Harris Administration to help us chart a new path forward,” they said.
One of the signers, Miriam Krinsky, who serves as executive director of the group Fair and Just Prosecution, called on the White House to heed the advice of newer up-and-coming prosecutors.
“For too long, prosecutors have used their vast discretion to pursue convictions and extreme sentences as part of a false promise of public safety; a new generation of prosecutors is changing this paradigm and prioritizing equity and justice while also improving the safety and well-being of our communities,” Krinsky said in a press release. “It is time for the Biden Administration to propel this movement forward and act to create lasting and sustainable change to the criminal legal system.”