The criminal justice system does not always work in ways that are 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 leads the nation in prosecuting kids criminally for even minor incidents that take place in our schools. That’s why she passed legislation 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, Jennifer locked up criminals, providing justice for victims and their families. Jennifer believes our nation should be able to provide justice while also correcting injustices that plague our criminal justice system and lead to mass incarceration. 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 and veterans courts, and decriminalizing simple possession of small amounts of marijuana.