Private prisons are a stain on our national identity. It is morally wrong for someone to make money off of the punishment and perpetual imprisonment of others. Georgia’s private prisons must be closed immediately. Though Georgia has made strides in recent years towards criminal justice reforms, these are only the first steps. First and foremost, we must end the scourge of private prisons. These institutions wield unprecedented political power, lobbying lawmakers for harsher penalties for crimes so that they can fill more cells and create more free labor. This is modern day slavery and will one day be viewed as a dark stain on the fabric of our nation. There are some things that the government must be responsible for rather than the free market because there are some things that it is immoral to make a profit off of; the punishment and rehabilitation of criminals is clearly one of those things.

If you have served your time, your debt is paid. I will sponsor a constitutional amendment to return the right to vote to citizens who have served their time. As your representative, I will sponsor a constitutional amendment to give ex-felons the right to vote. Prison is a place where people are given the opportunity to put aside who they used to be and reform themselves into citizens again. In short, it is a place to pay a debt. Once one is released from prison, that debt is paid, and they should again receive both the obligations and rights of citizenship. Ex-felons must be re-enfranchised.

I support “banning the box” so that prospective employers cannot automatically reject the applications of ex-convicts. One of the hardest parts of starting your new life after prison is finding an employer. It is hard enough after being out of practice for any extended length of time to find a new job without having to contend with the stigma associated with your past life. I support any initiative that would ban the ability for employers to have mandatory boxes on online applications that ask for your criminal history. All too often, these put ex-convicts in the position of having to tell the truth knowing that their application will be automatically sorted into the trash, or lie to a potential employer to get past the gate. Everybody deserves a second chance, and for many, that means at least getting an interview to be able to explain the journey that has taken them away from their past.

I support decriminalization of marijuana and the removal of mandatory minimums. It’s good policy, good business, and good for people. It is time to end the War on Drugs. Finally, I support the decriminalization of marijuana possession and the retroactive expungement of criminal records for people whose lives have been ruined because of a non-violent marijuana possession charge. I also support the repeal of any and all mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug offenders, and ending the war on drugs in Georgia.

© 2019 | Paid for by Mac Sims for Georgia