Our criminal justice system has too often focused on vengeance and punishment, rather than on crime prevention, restitution for victims and the social and economic reintegration of released prisoners into our communities so that they do not turn to crime again. David is committed to the effort to reform the criminal justice system in D.C., respecting the human rights of all residents.
- Ending the Drug War: In 2013, D.C. had a higher per capita arrest rate and spends more money on marijuana enforcement than almost any other state or county in the country. As the number of marijuana arrests has increased, so have the racial disparities. David supported efforts to decriminalize and legalize marijuana in the District, including his introduction of the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act which has been blocked by Congress through a rider attached to the District's FY2015 budget. As a companion to that bill, he also introduced the Record Sealing for Non-Violent Marijuana Possession Act of 2013 to seal the records of all persons for who non-violent marijuana related arrests or charges is their only criminal history. The Council passed this bill in October 2014.
- Recommit to Community Policing: How law enforcement interacts with the public on a daily basis plays an enormous role on how the government as a whole is perceived by the public. Everyday communications and interactions impact the lives of all of our residents. David believes that we must recommit to a more peaceful and positive engagement strategy between law enforcement and the public. Ultimately, it’s all connected. Through a new “alternatives to violence” approach to policing our entire city will see more productive relationship between the public and the government.
- Human Rights of Incarcerated Residents: David consistently speaks out for the human rights of all D.C. residents, including those behind bars. In 2014, the Council passed his bill to prohibit the shackling of pregnant women and girls in D.C. custody. Following that victory, David's intention to introduce legislation to end the routine shackling of minors in our juvenile courts led to a change in court policy. David also led the charge to prevent a for-profit company with a scandal-plagued track record from taking over healthcare services at the D.C. jail.