As this week’s democratic debate approaches, let’s look into the candidate’s views on the criminal justice system and how they would change the prison system as we know it, if elected.
To start off, former Vice President Joe Biden‘s campaign shows strong will to reform America’s criminal justice system, and it seems that he highlights the possible economic advantages of the reform more than anything else.
Biden’s main claim is that the issue of mass incarceration should be addressed by directing drug-offenders to treatment facilities rather than prisons. This is interesting, as Biden helped pass many crime laws worsening the country’s mass incarceration issue in the 80s and 90s. What has caused his change of heart?
Senator Cory Booker has raised a point from this, that Biden is now simply working towards fixing a broken system that he helped create.
Regardless, the war on drugs has been a huge issue throughout America’s history that remains largely problematic today, and does in fact need addressed.
Next, Biden aims to reach equality and fairness within the justice system by addressing needs of children, women, all races and all economic backgrounds. Another interesting belief, as his actions as Delaware Senator in the 90s yet again conflict with this stance considering that he previously claimed to not care about the reasons that crimes were committed or if the victimization of race or economic status caused crime.
Additionally, by helping to rehabilitate the previously incarcerated, Biden’s campaign claims that not only will those people be rightly aided in their return to society, but the economy will be boosted. While this is a wonderful plan, there is the talk about the economy again. What is the real focus, the individuals or the economy?
Finally, Biden wants to push back against profiteers in our criminal justice system leading to their elimination. This aspect does show that Biden may not be all about the money, but it could also be because profiteering allows the money to go only to large, private corporations.
Ultimately, Biden does have strong beliefs about the need for reformation of the criminal justice system, but his motives seem misled as they focus more on the economy than the actual human beings that suffer from the injustices within the system.
While he has expressed regret about past actions, we still must ask ourselves if he wants to bring these changes for the right reasons.