Criminal Justice Reform

I am a firm believer that the state exists to protect its citizens from threats of violence from within, or overreach from the federal government. As a long time defender of Constitutional liberty, I eagerly look forward to standing up to state and federal encroachment into individual private matters.

Federal intervention in state matters will be restricted to only those interventions necessary to keep the state from taking your freedoms guaranteed by the federal Constitution.

Rehabilitation NOT Retribution: The goal of criminal law should never be to exact vengeance for wrongdoing, but rather to ensure that the same wrongs a person commits should never be done again. Upon taking office, one of my first priorities will be to plan the release of all those imprisoned for victimless offenses. Any person who is not a danger to society should be able to return to his or her family and help contribute to their community.

These prisoners should be prepared for release with vocational training. The goal of any criminal system should be to rehabilitate and reintegrate non-violent offenders back into society. These individuals deserve a chance to start a new, honest living in the private sector. According to the John Howard Association of Illinois and the Illinois Policy Institute, excessive sentencing for non-violent crimes is the main factor in Illinois prison overcrowding.

Every incarcerated individual costs taxpayers over $30,000 annually. On the other hand, while a person is in prison, he or she cannot contribute to the economy, pay back debts, or support a family. While our society prides itself in assuming the accused to be innocent until proven guilty, bail set beyond an individual's ability to pay for non-violent crimes forces individuals to remain in jail. During this time, this person cannot work and cannot feed a family, while waiting for a court date in an overburdened justice system. No family should be forced into poverty while navigating our state's court system