During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden promised to end private prisons, cash bail, mandatory-minimum sentencing and the death penalty. Candidate Biden also said the U.S. could reduce its prison population by more than half. While he didn’t put forward as progressive or as detailed a platform as many of his competitors for the Democratic nomination (including his running mate Kamala Harris), Biden has nevertheless, quietly, been elected on the most progressive criminal justice platform of any major party candidate in generations. So what can he actually do?
President Joe Biden will face the same constraints as all incoming presidents after a campaign of big promises. Government moves slowly, time and political capital are limited, and his administration will likely need to prioritize the pandemic and the related economic fallout in the early days. But if he’s serious about tackling criminal justice, here’s what experts say to expect from the Biden administration on key issues.
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