Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for the abolishment of prison in a series of tweets provoking raised eyebrows among conservative political commenters.
“Mass incarceration is our American reality,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a stream of tweets on Monday, Oct. 7. “It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery. To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country.”
“A cage is a cage is a cage. And humans don’t belong in them,” she added in a follow-up tweet.
“First of all, many people in jailed or in prison don’t belong there at all,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Whether it’s punitive sentencing for marijuana possession or jailing people for their poverty & letting the rich free through systems like cash bail, we wrongly incarcerate far, far too many people.”
Ocasio-Cortez mentioned marijuana as a significant reason why people end up in jail. In fact, the Bureau of Justice statistics about people incarcerated on drug possession charges shows less than 4 percent state-level offenders, and less than 1 percent federal offenders—a negligible amount.
She also envisaged how this would take shape in the future: “Our lawmaking process means we come to solutions together, & either way, we should work to an end where our prison system is dramatically smaller than it is today.”
I know the term “prison abolition” is breaking some people’s brains. The right is already freaking out.
Yet the U.S. incarcerates more than anywhere in the world.
We have more than enough room to close many of our prisons and explore just alternatives to incarceration.
Prison abolishment has been on the agenda of the Democratic Socialists of America, a left-wing political party that Ocasio-Cortez is a member of. They passed resolution #45 in 2019 advocating the forming of “a Police & Prison Abolition Working Group” before the end of 2019.
Abolitionists favor replacing prisons with “restorative justice” and social welfare programs. The intent is to take aim at the “root causes” of crime.
Not only does Ocasio-Cortez want the prisons to be abolished, earlier this year, The Epoch Times reported that she wants to do away with the DHS as well.
Ocasio-Cortez Says She Wants DHS to Be Abolished
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said in an interview this week that she was in favor of ending the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The freshman congresswoman made the remarks during an appearance on The New Yorker Radio Hour with David Remnick while discussing her past comments when she called for the elimination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“And so, I think what it means is, for example, ICE is not under DOJ It’s under the Department of Homeland Security,” Ocasio-Cortez said during the interview.
“Would you get rid of Homeland Security, too?” Remnick asked.
“I think so. I think so,” the freshman congresswoman replied. “I think we need to undo a lot of the egregious mistakes that the Bush Administration did.”
“I feel like it is a very qualified and supported position, at least in terms of evidence and in terms of being able to make the argument that we never should have created DHS in the early 2000s,” she added.
The DHS was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as “a comprehensive national strategy to safeguard the country against terrorism and respond to any future attacks,” according to the department’s website.
Epoch Times reporter Janita Kan contributed to this report