Criminal justice

Cory Booker on the issues, in under 500 words

Cory Booker at his 2020 campaign announcement in Newark, N.J.
Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Democrat Cory Booker is a New Jersey senator known for his soaring oratory and optimistic views — his speeches are peppered with lines about love and compassion. The former mayor of Newark lived in one of the city's most distressed buildings until 2006 in a show of defiance against the landlord and the city.

Where the top 2020 Democrats stand on criminal justice reform

This image is a four-way split screen showing candidates in the following orders: Booker, Harris, Biden, and Sanders.
Sen. Cory Booker, former VP Joe Biden, former Sen. Kamala Harris, and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photos: Sean Rayford/Getty Images, Spencer Platt/Getty Image, and Mark Makela/Getty Images

Eight 2020 Democratic candidates penned essays for the Brennan Center's collection, "Ending Mass Incarceration: Ideas from Today's Leaders," highlighting their personal priorities to tackle an issue with a history of bipartisan support.

The big picture: Most candidates are showing a united front on legalizing marijuana, limiting mass incarceration, and easing formerly incarcerated people back into society. Other candidates are taking a single-issue approach, like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's focus on incarcerated women and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro's vision for federal housing.