Criminal Justice Reform Under the Trump Administration

As the president-elect forms his cabinet and administration, it is now more important than ever before to continue our fight for reforming a broken system of justice in America.

As long as the United States incarcerates 25% of the world's prisoners, as long as 50% of this country's inmates are imprisoned for drug crimes, as long as recidivism rates translate into 75% of inmates being rearrested within five years of release, and as long as the racial disparity in prisons mean that one in four black men can expect to end up behind bars in their lifetime - urgent reform is desperately needed.

Mr. Trump campaigned on a tough 'law and order' candidacy promising to implement some version of New York City's "stop and frisk" policy, possibly nationwide.

Aside from this key point, little else is actually known about president-elect Trump's plans for criminal justice under his administration.

In fact, there is no area on the policy section of his official campaign website that addresses criminal justice policy.

While some advocates of reform may despair at the new state of our institutional political climate, I choose to view the next four years as an opportunity.

While the American people remain sharply divided among political lines, justice reform is a convincing area of common cause in our nation.

69% of voters agree that the main goal of our justice system should be rehabilitating those who are incarcerated to become productive, law-abiding citizens.

67% of voters agree that what really matters is that the justice system does a better job of making sure that when an offender does get out, whether after months or years, they are less likely to commit another crime.

58% of voters agree that the federal government is spending too many tax dollars keeping nonviolent offenders behind bars.

There is an overwhelming bipartisan consensus that the system must be changed.

It is up to the people of this country, both those that voted for and against president-elect Trump, to remind the incoming White House of this consensus.

As our nation rises to meet the challenges of an increasingly uncertain world, it remains more important than ever before to resolve a fundamental threat to our national liberty.

This threat is rooted in the deep seeded injustices that are pervasive in our law enforcement, courts, and prisons.

The new leadership of our country has a solemn duty to address the many millions of Americans affected by these injustices.

May the new president fulfill his election night promise to be a "president for all of the American people."