Topics: Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice reform is a labor issue

In this country, mass incarceration has had a devastating impact on our members, their families, and our communities.  The targeted criminalization of Americans has deeply exacerbated income inequality while limiting access to opportunity for those struggling to find employment with a criminal record.

We know that our policing and justice systems are not color blind. One-third of African American men will serve time in federal prison during their lifetimes.  This is an incarceration rate five times greater than that for white men, even though studies show both commit crimes at about the same rates.

UFCW believes in a criminal justice reform movement focused on the restoration of rights to formerly incarcerated individuals. We firmly believe the criminal justice system needs to offer people another chance to contribute to our society. We’ve partnered with AFL-CIO and #FreeAmerica campaign to raise awareness of the need to end mass incarceration.

  • We oppose mandatory sentences for nonviolent crimes, and we want to end the unnecessary and indiscriminate privatization of correctional facilities.
  • We support restorative justice – job-training, education, probation and parole, programs – that help people reintegrate into our communities.
  • We support fully restoring all the rights of American citizenship for those who have served their time. Of course, that includes the right to vote and the right to serve on a jury but also public aid for education, housing, and employment assistance.

Our criminal justice system will never be fair when there is money to be made in locking up people. Together we are working toward achieving a reformed criminal justice system that offers formerly imprisoned people an economic path forward and restores voting rights. In San Francisco and across California, UFCW hosts events to educate and help people change a felony conviction to a misdemeanor–a key to restorative rights made possible by Prop 47 passed by California voters in 2014.