The United States imprisons a far larger part of its population than any other country. This has been especially true for the past 40 years. Does this make us all safe? Hardly. We need to review sentencing practices that cause mass incarceration, waste resources, and discriminate against minority populations. Meanwhile, the nationwide push for police reform that followed the George Floyd murder has waned. While our campaign gives Truth and Democracy our highest priority, and we also address abortion access, voting rights, inflation, medical care, and rural economic development, we still need to deal with injustices and ineffectiveness in the criminal justice system.
We need to reform the cash bail system. While we need to fully fund law enforcement at federal, state, and local levels, we also need to provide alternatives when a situation calls for a counselor rather than an armed peace-officer. We need to emphasize drug abuse treatment rather than prosecution. We need uniform policies concerning use of force by police. We need to better recruit law enforcement personnel who represent the populations they serve.
Many European countries have found better solutions to crime than we have in the United States, and we should study their examples as we formulate reforms. As Western societies experiment with new approaches and witness dramatic reductions in both crime rates and incarceration rates, we can benefit from their pioneering successes.