The Council must pass legislation to immediately reduce the population in D.C.’s jails. The conditions of the D.C. jail are inhumane and amount to torture. This danger is experienced largely by Black people – 86 percent of people arrested and 91 percent of people incarcerated in D.C. are Black.
Designed to reduce the incarcerated population by 50% by 2030, this legislation is one major step towards reducing the reach and damage done by the District’s criminal justice system. The bill, which includes recommendations from D.C.’s Task Force on Jails & Justice, will give judges discretion to consider additional information before placing someone in custody. It will also limit the instances in which a person would be sent to jail for a technical violation of probation or for having a substance abuse disorder. It will amend laws that require excessively long sentences and create opportunities to have those sentences revisited after a designated period of time.