The criminal justice system is not always fair or just. As a former prosecutor, substitute judge, legal advocate for children, and as a legislator, Jennifer has seen this all too clearly. One example: Virginia led the nation in prosecuting kids criminally for even minor incidents that take place in our schools. That’s why she passed legislation in the state legislature to promote alternatives to suspension, including positive behavior incentives, mediation, peer-to-peer counseling, community service, and other intervention alternatives so that we’re sending fewer of our children into the school-to-prison pipeline.

During her time as a prosecutor and defense attorney, she saw first-hand the disparate application of justice toward Black Americans and the deep need for a response of concrete legislative action. She believes our nation should be able to provide justice while also correcting injustices that plague our criminal justice system and lead to mass incarceration.  That’s why she is a proud co-sponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. This legislation aims to make sweeping reforms to address discriminatory and excessive policing practices. 

Congress should make our system more effective, efficient, and equitable for all. Jennifer supports reforming mandatory minimums, ending use of for-profit private prisons, working with localities and states to promote community policing, supporting reentry programs and voting rights restoration, supporting drug, mental health and veterans courts, and decriminalizing possession of marijuana.