For Reverend Warnock, criminal justice reform is a personal issue. In 1997, his older brother Keith was sentenced to life in prison on a first-time drug charge. Keith was released in June 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns; the younger Warnock was there to greet him, just hours after delivering a eulogy for Rayshard Brooks, a Black man murdered by police officers in Atlanta.
Reverend Warnock believes that in the Land of the Free, it is a scandal and a scar on the soul of America that we imprison people at a higher rate than any other country in the world. America’s prison population is fed by a system that criminalizes poverty, imperils the bodies of its most vulnerable citizens, and incarcerates people of color at a disproportionate rate. He intends to decriminalize marijuana, end cash bail for nonviolent offenses, and pass second chance laws to allow incarcerated people to participate in programs that reduce their sentences and give them life skills for re-entry into society.