The Green Party favors an end to prison building (starting with Graterford), and eventual prison abolition. Privatization is evil.
Reform sentencing laws?
Reflex jailing of offenders, particularly people of color, destroys families and neighborhoods. I would seek broadest judicial latitude for alternatives to incarceration, such as restorative justice, community service, youth courts with peer juries, treatment facilities for nonviolent addicts. Life without parole should end-- it provides no incentive for rehabilitation and diverts taxes from schools. At the same time, sentencing should stiffen for corrupt judges, politicians and bankers. Family group therapy is valuable, but the best form of anger management therapy is revolution-- taking power together.
Drug policy changes?
The Green Party favors legalization of marijuana, parole of its prisoners and expungement of their records. Since drug dependence rises principally from sudden or chronic trauma-- family divorce or death, home or job loss, sexual guilt-- self-destructive habits must be addressed through friendship, community, respect, love. We need a war on dangerous legal pharmaceuticals.
Reform commutation and parole?
The governor appoints members of the Board of Pardons, and the Lieutent chairs that Board. Together they have immense power to reduce prison populations. They can enact more generous guidelines for commutation and parole which both protect the public and restore community. Preparing inmates and their families and neighborhoods, especially with employment, should be well funded.
Decrease prison population?
Alternatives to incarceration, as above, are the quickest and most direct way to reduce inmate numbers.
Since JOBS FIGHT CRIME, I would shift the state budget from prisons to schools and green job development. As this process grows and inmates are released, prisons can be repurposed as green jobs training facilities, food production centers and warehouses. During this transition, within prison, skill development and certification must be a priority, so that when released inmates may gain respectful livelihood.
Growing national desperation and alienation makes the United States a crime factory. Nothing will prevent and rehabilitate crime but a culture that accepts rather than punishes human weakness, and an economy that makes it easier for us to help than hurt one another.
Politically, we can emphasize the tax benefits of shifting from prisons to schools. We can emphasize the social benefits of fostering happy children rather than dangerous criminals.
I've dedicated several decades to developing the above: paulglover.org Among these is my proposal for the Green Labor Administration (GLAD), which would train and employ 500,000 Pennsylvanians to install energy efficiencies, plant forests and orchards, and staff expanded free clinics.