You can help by calling or writing to your elected officials. Here are some suggestions and links.
Call or write to your state legislators and governor to support state-wide criminal justice reform including reducing mandatory minimum sentences, reducing sentences for non-violent drug crimes, passing “safety valve” law to allow judges to depart below a mandatory minimum sentence under certain conditions, passing alternatives to incarceration, etc. Study after study shows that racism fuels racial disparities in imprisonment, and most of the US prison population are at the state and local level.
Call or write to state legislators to require racial impact statements be required for all criminal justice bills. Most states already require fiscal and environmental impact statements for certain legislation. Racial impact statements evaluate if a bill may create or exacerbate racial disparities should the bill become law. Check out the status of your state’s legislation surrounding these statements here.
Call or write to state legislators, federal legislators, and your governor to end solitary confinement in excess of 15 days. It is considered torture by the UN, and it is used more frequently on black and hispanic prisoners. For more information on solitary, two good overviews can be found here and here.
The State of New Jersey Legislature contact info here.
New Jersey District 27 information here.
New Jersey Congress Office information here.
New Jersey State Senator Cory Booker information here.
New Jersey State Senator Bob Menendez information here.
New Jersey Governor’s Office information here.