Biden Is Planning To Restore Obama-Era Justice Department Policies

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday (January 26) that would restore some policies to the Justice Department that were in place during Barack Obama’s presidency. 

A source told the Huffington Post that the executive order would limit the use of private prisons and implement restrictions on the transfer of military equipment to police departments across the country. 

The executive order represents a piece of what President Biden and his administration plans to do to undo some of the policies Donald Trump put in place in an effort to support reform in the nation’s criminal justice system. 

President Obama put the limit on the federal government’s transferring military equipment to local law enforcement agencies after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. 

Under Obama’s policy, equipment like riot helmets, helicopters and “flash-bang” grenades required a department to provide justification for why they needed them. 

Former Deputy Attorney Sally Yates was a proponent of the move to cut back on the use of private prisons. 

The protests of last summer sparked by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd put racial injustice at the forefront of a lot of conversations and institutions, including the Biden campaign. 

In the last few months of his presidency, Donald Trump resumed federal executions after a 17-year hiatus. His actions heightened the call on Biden to end the death penalty, and address the racial inequity in sentencing dating back decades. 

A planning document obtained by Reuters says that Biden has more executive actions to address criminal justice reforms including addressing sentencing, civil rights, and voting rights. A date for when those executive actions would be signed was reportedly not listed. 

Photo: Getty Images

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