When it comes to restoring justice, we can’t be timid.
The War on Drugs has been a war on people, tearing families apart, ruining lives, and disproportionately affecting people of color and low-income communities — all without making us safer.
Working to reform the broken criminal justice system is a task we simply cannot brush aside.
That’s why today I’m proud to announce the Restoring Justice Initiative — a promise that on my first day in office I will initiate the process of clemency for more than 17,000 nonviolent drug offenders serving unjust and excessive sentences.
Under my proposal, those immediately eligible for clemency would include:
Individuals serving sentences for marijuana-related offenses.
Individuals serving sentences that would have been completed as a result of reforms made under the First Step Act, had its provisions applied retroactively.
Individuals currently incarcerated with excessive sentences due to the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.
I’ve fought my whole career to reform our broken criminal justice system. In the Senate, just last year, I helped lead the passage of the First Step Act, comprehensive legislation to turn the tide against mass incarceration, combat racially-biased policing, and better reintegrate those who have served time.
But even with forward-looking changes like this, the momentum has been far too slow while thousands of people continue to languish in prison — brick-and-mortar warehouses of human potential.