Conversations about our corrections system are too often dominated by fear and anxiety. Many discussions end in new laws with harsher sentences and longer prison terms. To say that the only solution is to take no chances, to lock up non-violent offenders for longer and longer periods of time whatever the cost; to do this is to give up on trying to reform our corrections system and our society.
We must appropriately punish lawbreakers, but, in some instances, non-violent offenders can repay that debt to society while remaining productive for their families and their communities. If they don't correct their ways, incarceration will always be an option.
Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?
Q: Do you support building more state prisons in Arkansas?
Q: Should minors accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as adults?
Q: Should minors who send sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?
Q: Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?
Westerman adds, "I believe we can reduce the need for prisons and correctional programs if we will focus on improving our childhood literacy rate and educational system as a whole while expanding our economy so that Arkansas can be the 'Land of Opportunity' for all of its citizens. For those who still refuse to abide by the law then we need the best prison system to incarcerate and hopefully correct the offenders."
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