2020 Policy Tracker: Justice

Bail/Prison Reform


Joe Biden

Joe Biden addresses bail/prison reform in “The Biden Plan for Strengthening America’s Commitment to Justice”. His plan will:

  • “Establish an independent Task Force on Prosecutorial Discretion.” 

  • “Invest in public defenders’ offices to ensure defendants’ access to quality counsel.”

  • “Eliminate mandatory minimums.”

  • “End the federal crack and powder cocaine disparity.”

  • “Decriminalize the use of cannabis and automatically expunge all prior cannabis use convictions.”

  • “End all incarceration for drug use alone and instead divert individuals to drug courts and treatment.”

  • “Use the president’s clemency power to secure the release of individuals facing unduly long sentences for certain non-violent and drug crimes.”

  • “End cash bail.”

  • “Stop corporations from profiteering off of incarceration.” 

  • “Provide for the unique needs of incarcerated women.” 

  • “Encourage states to collect sufficient data so we can make evidence-based criminal justice policies and eliminate disparities.” 

  • “Invest $1 billion per year in juvenile justice reform.”

  • “Incentivize states to stop incarcerating kids.”

  • “End the use of detention as punishment for status offenses.”

  • “Give children a true second chance by protecting juvenile records.”

  • “Create a $20B grant program to encourage states to reduce incarceration and crime.”


Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s campaign platform does not address bail/prison reform. However, he did pass the First Step Act, which limits juvenile solitary confinement and reduced minimum sentences for some repeat non-violent drug crimes.