As an attorney, Jorge witnessed the failings of our criminal justice system first hand. Since high school, Jorge has had an active interest in the school-to-prison pipeline. This culminated in his graduate thesis during his M.A. at the University at Albany on the State's economic dependency on the prison system and its correlation to education.
Jorge is a strong proponent of the Right to Know Act, which will protect the rights of all New Yorkers when dealing with the police. The first step in reforming the prison system is reforming policing. Criminal justice reform must be accomplished at the community level. Nobody goes to prison without an arrest.
The two key injustices that Jorge will end as a city councilperson are;
Broken windows policing and;
The school-to-prison pipeline.
Jorge understands that a holistic approach is needed to confront these complex issues.
First, comprehensive Bail Reform is necessary to reduce the discriminatory impact of the lengthy judicial process. Jorge will fight for alternatives to court and prison for non-violent offenders, such as replacing summons with arrests. Through this, poor and minority individuals will not be forced into jail during trial because of their socio-economic status.
Second, Mayor Bill de Blasio's Neighborhood Policing Plan must be reformed so it becomes more than empty words.
What the plan fatally lacks is a solid focus on Self-Governance. Jorge will ensure that programs such as tenant and youth patrols and neighborhood watches gain their rightful place in the community. Jorge will also fight to ensure that Police-Community programs such as the Police Athletic League and the Explorer Program are refunded.
We as a community do have control over how policing works. By creating community programs and fighting to speed by the judicial process, Jorge will ensure that discriminatory and unconstitutional practices end in the criminal justice system for good.