Americans for Prosperity is committed to helping break those barriers through a wide range of public policy reforms, including three core areas of criminal justice reform. While these aren’t new issues for our organization, they have a renewed importance and urgency:
1. Transform police culture. The vast majority of police officers and law enforcement leaders across the country – people who risk their lives to serve and protect their communities – know that policies around use of force must change. They are also rightly frustrated that many police union agreements protect bad actors from facing the consequences of their decisions.
2. Remove bad incentives such as civil asset forfeiture and qualified immunity, a judge-made law that prevents law enforcement officials who violate people’s constitutional rights from being held accountable for their actions. We must also reform the federal 1033 program that encourages police to treat communities like militarized combat zones rather than shared neighborhoods.
3. Eliminate unnecessary criminalization. As a society, we’ve passed laws that too often criminalize poverty, addiction, mental health, and so many other issues – and we don’t even require adequate intent standards when charging and convicting people with crimes. In fact, over the past 40 years, we’ve added 300,000 federal crimes to the enforcement burden that police officers carry. We must enact robust federal and state overcriminalization reform.
Only by tackling all three will we see the critical policy changes that our country needs. We owe it to all of those who have been the victims of police misconduct and to the many good law enforcement officers caught in the middle to fix this broken system.
To show your support for these critical reforms to our criminal justice system, please sign our petition today!