Jabari is an advocate for criminal justice reform in New York City. If elected city council member, he will insist that we move our city away from its dependency on incarceration. For the sake of the health, peace and safety of our neighborhoods, it is crucial that community members be given a voice in how their streets are served and protected. My goal in City Council will be to advance a concrete vision of how restorative justice can work in New York City.
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matters is the mass affirmation of every human’s entitlement to equality under the law. Evidence is mounting to show that Black citizens experience considerably more surveillance and brutality than experienced by their white peers. Black Lives Matter is a leadership organization comprised of activists who believe that people of color cannot attain true freedom until policies are implemented to address systemic racism entrenched throughout our criminal justice system and for lawmakers to recognize in our legislation the sanctity and worth of every human’s life.
Repair the Damage of Broken Windows Policy
Experts agree that Broken WIndows policing policy has not only proven itself ineffective but singularly harmful to poor neighborhoods of color. Broken Windows, we know, does more to punish the poor for their poverty than make our communities safe, For this reason, I will propose a more compassionate
Close Rikers As Fast As Possible
Too many investigations into Rikers’ prisons find them in violation of basic human rights protocol. On this point alone, I believe we must close down the island’s prisons. I believe that every American citizen should be treated with humanity and decency when held in state custody. To this end, I stand against the very notion of for-profit incarceration and believe we must pursue instead a vision of restorative justice that heals rather than punishes our communities.
End the Criminilization of Turnstile Jumping
I support State Senator Jesse Hamilton and Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright in their efforts to see turnstile jumping officially decriminalized at the state level. Classifying turnstile jumping as a Class A misdemeanor means offenders can spend upt a year in prison for damages to the MTA amounting to less than a cup of coffee. Decriminalizing turnstile justice would not legalize it but rather would allow community officials to impose lesser sentences for MTA offenses, such as $100 fines.
End Cash Bail
I find it personally upsetting that nearly three out of four inmates sitting in our city’s jails are being held not because they have been convicted of any crime but because they cannot afford to post bail before their trial date. In our court system where it can take many weeks, even months, before a court date is set for petty offenses like , a cash bail system uniquely punishes the poor and disadvantaged. As a policy, cash bail undermines our ability to say with confidence that all citizens are being treated as innocent until proven guilty.
Right to Know Act
With the Democratic Socialists of New York, I support the Right to Know Act. The Act is a package of legislative initiatives aimed at strengthening the rights of New Yorkers in their everyday interactions with the NYPD. In an effort to end the racially biased stop-and-frisk policies of previous administration, the Right to Know Act would require that officers provide a specific reason for civilian engagement and remind civilians that they have the right to refuse the search of their possessions without either warrant or probable cause. These policies I believe are a solid start towards undoing the damage of Broken Windows era of public safety.
Elected Civilian Police Review Board
Because I believe that the police serve first and foremost their communities, I believe that the civilian review boards which oversee their conduct should best represent that community. I believe that those seated on these boards be members of the community, elected democratically by their peers. To learn more about this initiative, please check out the NYC Campaign for an Elected Civilian Review Board.
Participatory Budgeting in NYPD
I believe that must introduce participatory budgeting to the NYPD. Communities should be able to vote on how their tax dollars are being directed towards the policing of their communities. If the yearly budget of the NYPD exceeds $5 billion, I believe the city can safely cede $1 million per district to participatory budgeting procedure while still only accounting for 1.4% of the city’s policing budget.
Stricter Residency Requirements for NYPD Officers
Currently, NYPD requires that officers live in either NYC or its surrounding counties. In practice, this residency policy has led to unignorable racial disparities: the majority of black and Hispanic officers live in NYC while the majority of white officers do not. This poses a problem for those who believe it best when officers and their families reside in the same communities in which they live. As Councilmember, I will work with the NYPD to see that our police force becomes more truly representative of the districts it serves.