As of Wednesday’s Democratic Debate, Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has emerged as a strong candidate. If Buttigieg keeps rising to the top, black Americans could look forward to some important changes.
He has released a criminal justice reform plan under his Douglass Plan proposal for restorative justice. In this plan, Buttigieg outlines steps to end mass incarceration that are much like those of the other candidates including putting people over profits by abolishing private prisons, ending the cash bail system, getting rid of mandatory minimums and legalizing marijuana.
Unlike other candidates, Buttigieg focused his plan around restoring equality in the justice system, most specifically for the black community.
Research shows that black Americans are treated unfairly compared to white Americans within the criminal justice system. In fact, black males are six times more likely to be incarcerated than white males.
By ending criminalization of things like poverty and some drugs, Buttigieg aims to reduce the number of prisoners by 50 percent. In order to help even out the playing field in terms of economic disadvantages, he plans to provide necessary capital and other tools necessary to eliminate the opportunity gaps which also lead to the racial inequality in the prison system and beyond.
With Buttigieg’s plan, black Americans could benefit from a safer, more equal life in society and with the law and the racial inequality in prisons would likely be diminished. Though Buttigieg is young and newer to national politics, he has proven thus far that he is an advocate for racial minorities and will do whatever it takes to create an atmosphere of equality if given the opportunity.