Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued Thursday that authorities should stop building prisons and instead focus on underlying public health issues as New York City seeks to address a recent surge in violent crime.
New York Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, called on Congress to earmark $400,000 toward a program called “Stand Up To Violence,” which seeks to address gun violence through counseling and community outreach. Ocasio-Cortez said it was “not acceptable” to use jails as “garbage bins.”
“If we want to reduce violent crime, if we want to reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The answer is to make sure that we actually build more hospitals, we pay organizers, we get people mental health care and overall health care, employment, etc. It’s to support communities, not throw them away.”
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