April 13, 2021 20:57

Could 2021 Electoral Candidates Improve Prospects for Justice Reform?

Voters in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Philadelphia, numerous Virginia cities, as well as a medley of counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York will elect their prosecutors and/or sheriffs, against the backdrop of sustained organizing and renewed protests, reports The Appeal.  Three of these states also hold statewide elections that may alter the political landscape for criminal justice reform, and a string of municipal races nationwide will affect control over law enforcement.  Local and state officials hold a huge share of the power to fight mass incarceration and wind down our punitive era. Even as Democrats are set to take control of the federal government this week, and some of their agenda involves changes to the criminal legal system, the politics of county prosecutors and sheriffs will have an outsized impact on issues such as sentencing and pretrial detention to drug policy, and plenty of activism will continue pressuring lawmakers, governors, and mayors to aggressively overhaul state rules and statutes.

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