O'Rourke unveils criminal justice reform plan

O'Rourke unveils criminal justice reform plan
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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke would end mass incarceration by repealing portions of the 1994 crime bill and investing $500 million into a pilot program to develop alternatives to incarceration, his campaign said in a plan released Monday

The former Texas congressman focuses on ending mass incarceration while reforming the criminal justice system to prioritize rehabilitation. 

“It’s unacceptable that America, the home of the free, locks up more of our own than any other country on the face of the planet, as we continue to have the world’s largest prison population — disproportionately comprised of people of color,” O’Rourke said. 

In addition to calling for a repeal of portions of the 1994 crime bill, O’Rourke said he would ban private, for-profit prison systems and end the cash bail system. 

O’Rourke joins many of his fellow 2020 candidates in calling for the private-prison ban, including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference MORE and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal Gabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies On The Money: White House, Dems edge closer to trade deal | GOP worries about Trump concessions | DOJ argues Congress can't sue Trump on emoluments | Former Fed chief Volcker dies UN International Anticorruption Day highlights democracy as a human right MORE (D-Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKrystal Ball: Media turns on Buttigieg, will this end him? Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRosario Dawson joins Booker for 'Lead with Love' tour Sunday shows — Nadler: A jury would convict Trump in 'three minutes flat' Booker on Harris dropping out: 'Iowa voters should have the right to choose' MORE (D-N.J.). 

He also said he’d set a goal to reduce incarceration by at least 25,000 inmates during his first term and would call on governors to set their own “aggressive” clemency goals. 

O’Rourke added that he would restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. 

His plan also calls for abolishing the death penalty as part of O’Rourke’s goal to “prioritize fair treatment and rehabilitation during incarceration.” Nearly all Democrats running in the primary have said they would eliminate capital punishment.

O’Rourke said he would also expand access to health care and make Pell Grants available to prisoners and increase access to apprenticeship programs.