Criminal Justice Reform
With a 500% increase of our current state inmate population, from the 1970’s to present, and the huge financial lobby and growth of private prisons in our state; Texas has grown to a prison-driven- economy with over 246,000 adults and juveniles currently behind bars and over 735,000 Texans in the on-going-cycle of our criminal justice system. Race and income disparity have also played a crucial role in determining who is in prison with 62.13% of our inmate population being African-American, 21.15% Latino, 16.17% Anglo-Saxon (White), and over 57% of the inmate population coming from the lowest tier of our income bracket.
Our long term plan will focus in passing legislation or a ballot initiative in the upcoming years for the legalization of marijuana that will eliminate existing non-violent marijuana misdemeanors and felonies, reduce penalties for minors to educational programs and counseling, provide $65 million in economic development, job placement, and legal services to low income communities who have been disportionately targeted by the “War on Drugs”, and grant hundreds of millions of dollars a year to youth education, dropout and drug prevention, and substance abuse programs in at risk youth schools. In the short term, we will work with local governments in our state by ensuring more community-based policing and a more progressive policing approach for non-violent marijuana offenses.
Lastly, we will lead the efforts to end for-profit prisons in our state and be the active opposition to the industrial prison complex who have destroyed a generation of Texan families since the early 1980’s. If the Correction Corporation of America (CCA) has the money and the lobbying muscle in our state’s capitol, Texas Victory Project will have the people and the grassroots movement to go toe-to-toe with them end put a stop to this vicious cycle. We will work with both Democrats and Republican legislatures to reduce this budgetary waste of $7.14 billion dollars and use this money to fund mental health and drug treatment centers.