Throughout his time in public office, Senator Sepulveda has been a vocal and leading advocate on criminal justice reform, working to change the culture of distrust between communities of color and the police, and to correct inherent racial and economic inequalities in the justice and prison systems.
Sepulveda believes our criminal justice and corrections systems are structurally unjust, and have disproportionality affected low-income and black and brown communities, contributing to further marginalization and discrimination. In New York state, we now face a historic opportunity to reform our corrections system to center it on what should have always been its central goal: to rehabilitate and reintegrate individuals to become healthy, empowered, productive members of society.
As Chair of the Senate Committee on Crimes, Crime Victims, and Corrections, Senator Sepulveda has been a leader on prison reform, introducing and passing legislation that will fundamentally restructure prisons in New York State.. During the 2019 Legislative Session, he oversaw the historic criminal justice reforms in ending cash bail, early discovery, and speedy trial. He continues to lead on legislation supporting rehabilitation & reentry, ending solitary confinement, creating civilian oversight of the state correctional system, expanding access to college in prison, and more. Part of this commitment includes visiting every prison in NY state, to witness firsthand the realities that incarcerated people and facility staff experience.
Previously, while in the Assembly, his efforts included sponsoring a bill to create a board to review civilian deaths and near-deaths involving police officers, a bill requiring videotaping of all engagements between uniformed officers and individuals in the community, and advocating for Raise the Age legislation to prevent 16- and 17-year-olds from being charged as adults, which historically passed in 2017.