Mayor Booker Calls For Overhaul of Prison System On Anniversary of March On Washington
By Alexandra Hill, WBGO News
August 28, 2013
The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Mayor Cory Booker has laid out his plan to reform the criminal justice system.
Booker’s plan includes increasing funding for prison reentry programs, decriminalizing marijuana, and ending mandatory minimum drug sentencesfro low level drug offenders. Booker says as Mayor of Newark he has experienced a criminal justice system that continues to let the country down.
“I’ve watched as our police re-arrest, arrest, and re-arrest again, only to send the same person on another trip through a revolving door, that consumes a gross amount of tax payer dollars, rarely rehabilitates, makes offending more likely and crime more of a reality for people in our community.”
Booker delivered his first policy proposal of the general election at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church where Martin Luther King spoke just weeks before his assassination.
Booker referenced Dr. King's memory while addressing what he says is an unjust system that often targets African-American males, stating that blacks make up 14 percent of the states population but make up over 60 percent of the states prison population.
Booker also touted his efforts through various city programs aimed at reducing recidivism as a means of decreasing crime in Newark.
Booker's Republican opponent, Steve Lonegan, has criticized Booker's record of controlling crime while mayor of New Jersey's largest city.