Shamefully, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world—and Arizona has the fifth highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent decades, Arizona’s prison population exploded from approximately 3,000 people in prison to more than 42,000.
But our criminal justice system—which disproportionately arrests and sentences people of color and working people while enriching the prison-industrial-complex—isn’t making our communities safer. In fact, it is needlessly tearing families apart and damaging our local economy by costing taxpayers more than $1 billion each year, preventing us from investing in critical priorities like education and social services for working families.
To ensure the safety and well-being of our community, we need to shift spending away from punitive measures and make transformational investments in eradicating poverty, ensuring access to quality healthcare, and creating a world-class education system in Arizona.
As a lobbyist representing Arizona’s food banks at our state legislature, I brokered a deal with legislators from both parties to successfully repeal an Arizona law that banned people with felony drug convictions from receiving food assistance. Thanks to that law, thousands of Arizonans are now able to put food on the table for their families and do not have to turn to petty theft or other crimes of survival simply to feed their families.
In office, I will continue to fight for a system that invests in our community’s safety and prosperity, not for-profit prisons.
Key points in my plan to transform our criminal justice include: