Delaware has a mass incarceration problem. While the United States incarcerates at a rate higher than any other country in the world (698 people per 100,000), Delaware’s rate (756 per 100,000) exceeds even the national number—making Delaware both a national and global leader in incarceration.
Our over-loaded system is also plagued with racial disparities. African Americans make up only 23% of the general population in Delaware — but are 60% of the prison population.
Take action now: urge Delaware legislators to support meaningful criminal justice reform during this legislative session!
Reducing the number of people in prison in Delaware means dismantling the approaches that came to define criminal “justice” for the past three decades and shining a light on racial disparities that have gone unchecked for far too long. While Delaware has taken tentative steps towards criminal justice reform, we now need bolder, more impactful action from our legislators to truly create significant change.
The Delaware Coalition for Smart Justice has two main goals: cut the prison population in half and eliminate racial disparities in Delaware’s criminal justice system. Some of the Smart Justice measures that the 150th General Assembly should support legislatively are:
● Reduce sentences for low level drug crimes
● Expand opportunities for release of individuals who have served a major part of their sentence and are no longer a significant public safety threat
● Stop issuing automatic arrest warrants for non-payment of fines and feesbefore a person’s ability to pay can be determined on a case by case basis
● Remove most consecutive sentencing requirements from the criminal code so that sentences can run concurrently where appropriate
● Expand second chances by reforming Delaware’s expungement statute
● Improve transparency and data collection in Delaware’s criminal justice system
Take action now: urge Delaware legislators to support meaningful criminal justice reform during this legislative session! Sign the petition today!
Members of the Coalition for Smart Justice include: ACLU of Delaware, Campaign for Smart Justice Delaware, Delaware Center for Justice, Delaware Civil Rights Coalition, Delaware United, League of Women Voters Delaware, NAACP Delaware State Conference, Network Delaware, the Unitarian Universalist Delaware Advocacy Network, and more.
Here’s a link to learn more about the Delaware Coalition for Smart Justice and our legislative priorities here: