Statement from DeAnna Hoskins President & CEO of JustLeadershipUSA on Representative Ayanna Pressley’s Resolution, The People’s Justice Guarantee
“On November 14, 2019, the movement to redefine and transform justice in this country took a bold step forward, as U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) introduced The People’s Justice Guarantee, a Congressional resolution that speaks truth to power with respect to the crisis of mass criminalization that has inflicted immeasurable harm on Black and brown communities for decades.
“Founded on the value that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, but furthest from resources and power, and working to achieve our mission of cutting the United States correctional population in #halfby2030, JustLeadershipUSA is grateful for policymakers like Rep. Pressley who clearly stand in solidarity with, and work in service of, the movement to achieve a decarcerated nation – a movement that is led by directly impacted advocates. We wholeheartedly support this resolution and look forward to working with Rep. Pressley and her allies in Congress to ensure that this is the foundation for all future legislative efforts done in the name of ‘criminal justice reform.’
“The resolution is commendable not just in its willingness to name the crisis we confront every day, but also in its articulation of how that crisis exacerbates the challenges faced by marginalized, disempowered, or otherwise vulnerable communities. People who are immigrants, LGBTQ+, identify as women, or who have physical or mental health needs are targeted, trapped, and ravaged by a criminal legal system fueling and fed by generational, systemic harms that have gone unaddressed for far too long. The work of transformative healing cannot happen in silos; advocates must recognize how these issues intersect and interact, and policymakers must follow Rep. Pressley’s lead in proposing solutions that address that reality.
“The solutions proposed here are the solutions that directly impacted leaders have demanded for decades. This resolution offers a holistic, unapologetic, substantive, and thoughtful approach to justice reform, centering the ideas generated by the experts in this field: those of us who have been incarcerated, had our family members incarcerated, and who’ve seen our communities torn apart by police and prosecutors – mechanisms that often perpetuate the racist foundations on which the criminal legal system was built, taking Black and brown bodies away from their homes and loved ones – and left behind by generations of underinvestment.
“I thank Rep. Ayanna Pressley for introducing The People’s Justice Guarantee, and I am eager to get to work to push this forward.”