Press releases are great, especially when they’re all about really important things like reducing the United States prison population by 50%.
As part of its effort to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the U.S. jail and prison population, the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice today announced a new multi-year initiative to overhaul the power wielded by prosecutors.
Overhauls are great, particularly when the overhaul is of power wielded by prosecutors. Who doesn’t want to see that happen, John Pfaff?
The ACLU’s initiative includes a series of high-impact, locally driven prosecutorial reform campaigns in a number of states across the country, beginning in Philadelphia where #VoteSmartJustice is underway to educate voters about the district attorney race in the May 16 primary.
Wow. “High-impact” sounds so, well, high-impact. Seriously, how much more aggressive a phrase can there be? And they’ve already got a hashtag to go with it. This is serious stuff.
“Prosecutors are the most powerful, unaccountable, and least transparent actors in the criminal justice system. This new effort seeks to not only rid our justice system of bad actors who exploit and abuse unchecked powers, but also to elevate and empower a new generation of prosecutors committed to reducing incarceration.
And few words tingle our feelz as much as “empower,” though one might have thought that the problem is that prosecutors are already empowered, which is why we have this problem. So surely the ACLU has some really cool high-impact elevation and empowerment stuff that will “rid our justice system of bad actors who exploit and abuse unchecked powers,” right? RIGHT?!?
Approximately 3,000 prosecutors throughout the country are responsible for making decisions that affect the lives of millions of people. The public knows too little about prosecutors and their impact on communities.
Together with the ACLU’s state affiliates and on-the-ground advocates, the initiative will follow a three-prong strategy:
- Litigation: The initiative is hiring new litigators to file ten lawsuits aimed at holding prosecutors accountable and changing their policies and practices.
- Legislative advocacy: The initiative will serve as a clearinghouse for prosecutor reform legislation, actively supporting the passage of key reform measures in ten states.
- Voter education: The initiative will engage in nonpartisan efforts in ten prosecutorial elections, conducting voter education about the role that local prosecutors play in fueling mass incarceration.
There you go. Ten lawsuits, ten elections, no waiting. Problem solved. Great strategy, guys. This will fix everything. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you’re flush with an unanticipated $85 million in donations.