Rep. Rashida Tlaib recently revealed in an interview that she does not necessarily support the bill she pushed last year that would have abolished federal prisons over the course of 10 years. She went on to acknowledge that there are legitimate people behind bars.
Tlaib recently answered questions about the BREATHE Act and her support. The BREATHE Act calls for the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services to create a plan for prison abolition. This includes getting rid of federal jails entirely within 10 years. It also places a moratorium on any new federal prison, jail or immigrant detention centers.
Tlaib was asked about struggling with the potential downsides to releasing every federal prisoner into society. She states that they’re not just going to release everybody. Reporter Swan replied that’s what the bill says. Tlaib asked how many people with mental illness are in prison right now?
Swan replied that he doesn’t know but that the bill she endorsed actually states that everyone will be released in ten years, including human traffickers and child sex predators. He asked if she is implying that she doesn’t support this bill as she had last year.
Tlaib argued that many prisoners are suffering from mental illness or substance abuse problems and should be rehabilitated, rather than incarcerated. Swan replied that she should be asked about human traffickers and other people who should be held accountable.” He states that he is just trying to understand her broad proposal, like everyone else.
Tlaib replied that there is a process to look at how they can move away from mass incarceration in favor of care.
Swan asked if she thought there are still certain people who should be behind bars.
Tlaib replied “absolutely” and that she doesn’t believe there’s any rehabilitation happening at the moment for those who might actually have mental health problems behind bars. Swan asked Tlaib if she believes all people can be rehabilitated? Tlaib responded that she doesn’t believe so and has been very clear about this. She said that she would need to examine each case and determine the best way to proceed.
Congresswoman Tlaib had difficulty convincing Congress to follow her lead in removing prisons, which is one of the first things the Taliban did. They emptied all of the prisons and released terrorists when they took control of Afghanistan.