Our criminal legal system is hurting us. In this country, young people, ages 18-35, make up 30% of the population, yet represent 60% of adult arrests and 42% of adult prison admissions. The consequences of an arrest or conviction can create lifelong barriers to accessing education, housing, and equitable employment opportunities. The impacts of this fall hardest on Black and Latinx communities and it has had a devastating impact on their long-term safety and stability.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Candidates that we elect to serve in local, state, and federal offices determine how the system operates. They can shrink the system, and our vote determines who we put into office and what policies they stand for. And, in some states, voters can vote for propositions that directly change policy for the better—or worse.
In Florida, for example, voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4 to reinstate voting rights for people with prior felony convictions. And, in cities like Chicago and Philadelphia, voters have selected progressive prosecutors who have dramatically shrunk the local jail populations.
Your vote is instrumental in shaping a system that disproportionately affects young people, and especially young people of color. Show your commitment to ending the harms of the criminal legal system by registering to vote and pledging to vote.
It is critical that we have elected officials who will shrink the criminal legal system and invest in our communities. Vote and let your voice be heard loud and clear at the ballot box!