FWD.us Statement Ahead of “Safer Stronger D.C. Amendment” Hearing: More Incarceration Won’t Advance Public Safety in the District

WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us D.C. Director for Criminal Justice Reform Dawit Getachew issued the following statement today ahead of the Council of the District of Columbia’s Judiciary & Public Safety Hearing on the “Safer Stronger Amendment Act of 2023” (SSDC):

“FWD.us strongly opposes this bill – it is a step in the wrong direction that would increase mass incarceration in the District, worsening racial disparities and hurting kids and families – and it would not advance public safety in any way. Decades of research proves longer sentences and increasing incarceration does not meet our shared goal of making our communities safer. Passing this bill will prevent D.C. leaders from making good on their promise to address residents’ public safety concerns.

“We are most concerned about three policies that would cause the most harm to individuals and families, specifically increasing pretrial detention for youth and adults; increasing penalties for some offenses; and significantly rolling back the Second Look Act.

“As we continue to see a troubling increase in gun violence and some serious offenses, it is critical for elected officials not to revert to failed policies that will only deepen harm to our communities. Instead, this moment must be met with data-driven solutions like the RCCA and investments in public health, infrastructure, and community safety.

“We urge the Council to reject this bill and advance evidence-based policies that will reduce incarceration and make our communities safer.”

Read more:

1) More Incarceration in the District of Columbia Will Not Increase Public Safety

2) More than 40 National and Local Organizations Call on D.C. Leaders to Oppose Safer Stronger D.C. Proposal that will Worsen Mass Incarceration Without Improving Public Safety

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