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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Last week, President Obama became the first ever sitting president to visit a federal prison, pointing the public spotlight on the critical issue of criminal justice reform.

Now, we must work together to address our high incarceration rates and fix our criminal justice system. If you haven't had a chance to sign my petition, there's still time:

Sign my petition to thank President Obama for taking the first steps toward fixing our broken and unfair criminal justice system. 

Thanks for being on my team,

Kamala D. Harris

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Kamala Harris for Senate


America should lead the world in economic opportunity, fairness, and equality -- not incarceration rates.

But we now send more citizens to prison than the top 35 European countries, combined. America's federal prison population has increased by 800 percent since 1980, largely for nonviolent and drug-related offenses. And overall, 1.5 million black men are "missing" from our communities, currently serving sentences in U.S. prisons.

For so long, we have been offered a false choice that suggests we're either "soft on crime" or "tough on crime," instead of asking, "are we smart on crime?" Fixing our criminal justice system hasn't just been a focus of my career as a prosecutor -- I actually wrote the book on it, titled Smart on Crime.

That's why I'm proud to see President Obama taking action to address this major problem. This week, President Obama became the first ever sitting president to visit a federal prison, where he called for comprehensive reform of America's broken criminal justice system.

And earlier this week, he gave a speech praising efforts like the ones we've taken in California to be smart -- not just tough -- on crime.

Now I want to make sure the President knows just how many of us stand with him.

Add your name to my petition to thank President Obama for showing real leadership to reform America's broken and unfair criminal justice system.

For more than a decade, I have led efforts to reform our broken criminal justice system. And I've witnessed that being smart on crime is a lot like keeping our communities healthy. We know from the public health model that whether you are dealing with a crime epidemic or a health epidemic, focusing on prevention first is the most effective way to address the problem. If we start to see symptoms, then deploy early intervention. If we are dealing with a crisis in our emergency rooms or prisons, then we are far too late and the problem is far too expensive.

It starts with prevention -- tackling elementary school truancy, creating universal pre-K, and also creating economic opportunity. It starts with raising the minimum wage so that a single parent doesn't have to work two or three jobs just to get by and can spend more time ensuring their kids get a fair shot at succeeding in school and in life.

It means acknowledging that criminal offenses aren't created equally, and that low-level, nonviolent, and non-serious offenders should have the chance to become productive members of society -- not get stuck in our prison system.

As the nation's most populous state, California saw prison populations skyrocket after 1980. As San Francisco District Attorney, I created the "Back on Track" program in 2005 as a means for early intervention -- a chance to provide real pathways out of crime for young people and reduce recidivism in nonviolent offenders. Last year, I proudly announced the creation of a "Back on Track" pilot program in Los Angeles, and the program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as a model for the rest of the country.

This is the approach that is working in California, and it's one we need to take to a national scale.

This week, President Obama is calling on Congress to help our country take that first important step, nationwide, and I'm asking everyone to show that we have his back.

Add your name, and thank President Obama for taking this first step to reforming our broken criminal justice system.

Working together, I believe we can end the revolving door between our prisons and our communities.

Thanks for being on my team,

Kamala D. Harris 

Friend,

Last week, President Obama became the first ever sitting president to visit a federal prison, pointing the public spotlight on the critical issue of criminal justice reform.

Now, we must work together to address our high incarceration rates and fix our criminal justice system. If you haven't had a chance to sign my petition, there's still time:

Sign my petition to thank President Obama for taking the first steps toward fixing our broken and unfair criminal justice system. 

Thanks for being on my team,

Kamala D. Harris

ADD YOUR NAME »

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