Delaware has a mass incarceration problem. The U.S. incarcerates people at a rate higher than any other nation, and Delaware’s incarceration rate is higher than the national average and higher than any of it neighboring mid-Atlantic states. We are locking people up at a rate more than
double what we did 30 years ago, and it has not made our communities safer- in some cases incarceration has actually had a devastating effect on our communities. Our prisons are operating beyond their designs capacity and the cost of maintaining the correction system continues to
ballon. This issue seems to specifically target minorities, especially African Americans. While African American represent 23% of Delaware’s population, they are account for 60% of the First State’s prison population. African Americans are more likely to be punished and sentence longer and harsher sentences for the same crimes as other people.
Teachers and parents need to work together to tackle the school to prison pipeline by creating programs and opportunities that will encourage young children to stay away from imprisonment initially. Mentoring and prevention program such as community center, D.A.R.E program should
either be maintained or established to keep young people engaged and informed. We need to decrease drop-outs and mis-education. We need to develop programs for children with incarcerated parents to engage through weekly homework help, literacy programs, arts programs,
video reading programs, etc. 3 out of 1 of Delaware students have at least one parent incarcerated. The impact ranges from stress, harmful behaviors, grade retention, low school performance, etc. having these interactions will their parent will increase school engagement,
I support a fair and just system for ALL people in Wilmington by:
Supporting the creation and/or implementation of pre-arrest programs to help adults with addictions i.e, HERO Help program
Supporting the creation and/or implementation of pre-arrest programs to help children with addictions
Bring DARE and community partners back into the schools to discuss drug and alcohol abuse/addiction: elementary & middle school
Educating the community about their rights & the Constitution through workshops with WPD
Creating a Community Board to be a part of the investigation for reports and complaints against the WPD
Strengthen bonds of trust between communities and police to decrease racial profiling
Full support of Criminal Justice Reform at the State level
Modernizing sentencing: Judges would receive more discretion in crafting of sentences and & stacking &of charges would be reduced. Prohibiting of revocation of drivers & licenses for unpaid fines.
Many drug crimes (Title 16) would no longer be designated as & violent felonies; eliminating sentencing enhancement
Easier options of expungement more widely available for offenders
Protecting the rights of juvenile offenders
Reducing barriers to employment for criminals released from prison
Prohibit the prosecution of anyone younger than 12 for any crime other than murder or rape
Consumption of alcohol or marijuana by a person under age 21 a civil offense rather than a crime
Mandate that federally charged individuals be assigned to the closes Federal facility
We need to support re-entry programs for men and women to reduce recidivism. We need reform for equality and equity in our Criminal Justice System. People not prison. These are humans and should be treated as such. People need a chance at successful and honest living
without being held hostage about their previous choices that they have served the time for. We also need to look at creating a data-driven approach to technical violations of probation. Probation violation is a main driver of Delaware’s prison population. With this data, we would
be able to analyze the gaps in services and provide treatment services or other graduated sanctions in lieu of imprisonment which will be more effective and less costly. It is also important that I am advocating for a law to exist for automatic financial compensation for the wrongfully incarcerated through the governor’s rainy-day fund and insurance. The most recent in Delaware was Elmer Daniels. He served 39 years for crime he did not commit and got bus fare and his belongings. After much suffrage and damaging his life & his families, this person will face a great hardship to adjusting to a new, different society. We also need to mandate that our family members with federal charge do not go any further than the closet facility in Pennsylvania to serve their sentence.
Police and community relation need to improve. Police need to be walking around in the community and getting to know people outside of just criminal contact.
I know what it feels like to be Black and pulled over by Wilmington Police Department and the apprehension and fear you get as they approach. Hoping not to get a cop that is not looking to wield his power around, but that could change if the police is actively working to build those relationship to ease those tensions, that have historically been created by them.
There are a few great police officers and I want to thank them for volunteering their service. However, our Criminal Justice system is broken, racist, and classist. I have met with individuals in the community to discuss how the police can improve community relations. I want to use the WPD Right to Know program to make sure we are aware of what the law is and what our rights are. This should be clear and transparent. There needs to be a development of a Community Board, so that all complaints and reports are not reviewed solely by the WPD.
I have been pushing that WPD adopted a similar HeroHelp program as NCC, where our friends and families dealing with a drug/alcohol addiction can seek recovery or be offered the program in lieu of prison & higher charges. This will program will help people battling addiction in Wilmington, who commit crimes because of this addiction to get help, without been further stigmatized and labeled a criminal. Addiction is not a choice.
Our Criminal Justice system needs to be reformed.