Criminal Justice Reform

“Building safe and secure communities is, at its core, about building trust. It’s about fixing what’s broken and rooting out the systemic prejudices that tilt the scales of justice against Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous people. It’s going to take all of us to make the dream of a fair, just, and safe society a reality.”

– Rep. Adam Schiff

 

The systemic bias and racism that infects our criminal justice system has caused disproportionate harm to communities of color – and has diminished our overall public safety. As a former federal prosecutor, Rep. Adam Schiff has been a champion for progressive and practical criminal justice reform that will root out discriminatory practices and make our streets safe for everyone – no matter where they live or what they look like.


 

Reforming Our Criminal Justice System

Adam believes that the necessary work to reform our broken criminal justice system must begin with the eradication of systemic racism. Throughout American history, our policing system has disproportionately targeted Black individuals, ripping apart communities and contributing to a dangerous cycle of distrust between police and the communities they’re meant to serve. Adam is dedicated to ending the scourge of police violence that kills hundreds of innocent men and women each year.   

Adam is an original cosponsor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a comprehensive plan that would reform the systems designed to hold police accountable, increase transparency, and improve police training and policies. Adam also supports the moratorium of the death penalty at both the state level in California and federally.  

Adam believes we need smart, evidence-based criminal justice reforms that both foster equity and keep our cities safe, by reducing spending on corrections and increasing funding for rehabilitation programs, so that those who’ve served their time don’t wind up back in the system. The size and cost of our prison system has exploded over the past three decades, and studies show that savvy criminal justice reform can have the three-fold effect of reducing crime, reducing spending, and reducing recidivism. Adam is the leading advocate for the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a data-driven program to rein in reckless and needless correctional spending, by putting money behind solutions that reduce recidivism and then reinvesting those correctional savings in the community.  

 

Protecting Children

As the father of two, Adam has been a dedicated advocate for child safety and believes we should always demand the best when it comes to protecting the next generation. For this reason, he introduced the Child Protection Improvements Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2018. This bipartisan law ensures that community-based groups that provide mentoring, tutoring, and other assistance to young people perform cheap, fast, and accurate background checks on prospective volunteers and employees. Adam will continue to work to make sure this law is properly implemented.  

 

Reducing the Rape Kit Backlog

Adam was a leader in gaining federal support to clear a decade-old backlog of DNA in the LAPD and Sheriff’s Office’s crime labs, which contained evidence collected from unsolved sexual assaults. Schiff obtained millions of dollars through the Appropriations process to reduce and ultimately eliminate the backlog of rape kits, helping to solve open cases and providing sorely needed closure to survivors and their families. Adam also spearheaded the effort to obtain substantial federal support to help create a state-of-the-art crime lab in Glendale. In May of 2012, the Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory officially opened. Today, the Laboratory is capable of processing between 400 and 600 samples of DNA each month in sexual assaults, burglaries, and other violent crimes.

 

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