The Democratic Party platform includes a four-paragraph section on criminal justice focusing principally on support for local law enforcement and ending violence against women, says the National Criminal Justice Association, which represents states and localities in Washington, D.C. The platform says, “We will reverse the policy of cutting resources for the brave men and women who protect our communities every day. At a time when our nation’s officers are being asked both to provide traditional law enforcement services and to help protect the homeland, taking police off of the street is neither tough nor smart; we reject this disastrous approach. We support and will restore funding to our courageous police officers and will ensure that they are equipped with the best technology, equipment and innovative strategies to prevent and fight crimes.” The Democrats vow to “reduce recidivism in our neighborhoods by supporting local prison-to-work programs. We will continue to fight inequalities in our criminal justice system. We must help state, local and tribal law enforcement work together to combat and prevent drug crime and drug and alcohol abuse, which are a blight on our communities. The platform includes support for ending violence against women and backing victims’ rights.
The Republican platform includes an eight-part criminal justice section on ending child pornography, gangs, sentencing, reforming prisons, federal law enforcement, fighting illegal drugs, and protecting crime victims. The platform calls for “stronger enforcement and determined prosecution of gang conspiracies” and for the immediate deportation of “[a]liens involved with gangs or who are convicted of crimes of violence or sex offenses.” The Republicans are specific in their commitment for tougher sentencing for certain violent crimes, support of the death penalty, and opposition to granting parole to dangerous and repeat felons. The platform calls for reform of the nation’s correctional institutions. It discusses the need for increasing the ranks of federal law enforcement agencies to replace the resources shifted to homeland security duties. The document calls for “several thousand new FBI agents, U.S. marshals, immigration officers, and Border Patrol agents  The costs will be significant; but the social and economic costs of street gangs, identity theft, and illegal entry into this country would be much greater.” The platform endorses “state and local initiatives, such as Drug Courts, that are trying new approaches to curbing drug abuse and diverting first-time offenders to rehabilitation.” The Republicans seek ratification of a constitutional amendment on the rights of crime victims.