Feb 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bloomberg unveils criminal justice plan amid stop-and-frisk fallout

Michael Bloomberg.
Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

2020 candidate Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday released a criminal justice reform agenda that focuses on reducing racial disparities in incarceration and helping reintegrate those who have been jailed.

Why it matters: The former New York City mayor's criminal justice record has been under scrutiny in the wake of the resurfacing of a 2015 audio clip of him defending the city's stop-and-frisk policy, which mostly impacted black and Latino people before it was ruled unconstitutional in 2013.

  • Bloomberg had defended the policy as recently as January 2019, but apologized for it last November once it became clear he planned to run for president.
  • The new criminal justice plan comes one day before Bloomberg is set to take part in his first Democratic debate, where he is sure to be challenged on the issue.

What Bloomberg's proposal would do:

  • Raise the standard for police using force and require training in de-escalation and implicit bias.
  • End cash bail at the federal level and create "new supervised release alternatives."
  • Set a goal to reduce incarceration by 50% by 2030.
  • Provide employers with a multi-year tax incentive for hiring people who were incarcerated and expand “ban the box" initiatives, which seek to eliminate questions about conviction history from job applications.
  • Expand social services for the children of incarcerated people.

What he's saying: “In New York City, our Administration reduced incarceration by nearly forty percent, and as president, I will work to cut incarceration in half by 2030 and cut youth detention in half by the end of my first term," Bloomberg said in a statement.

Go deeper: The cost of going after Bloomberg

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