State of California Archives: on Crime

Kamala Harris: Don't require cops to wear body cameras

Joining fellow law enforcement officials, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said she doesn't believe there should be statewide standards regulating the use of body-worn cameras by police officers: "I as a general matter believe that we should invest in the ability of law enforcement leaders in specific regions and with their departments to use discretion to figure out what technology they are going to adopt based on needs that they have and resources that they have. I don't think we can have a one-size-fits-all approach to this," she said.

Harris, whose own department is the first statewide agency to adopt a body camera program, waded into an issue that has sparked intense debate at the Capitol. One measure, Assembly Bill 66, has undergone several revisions to permit police officers in most jurisdictions to review footage captured on the cameras before giving a report of an incident involving force.

Source: Sacramento Bee coverage of 2016 California Senate race May 27, 2015

Kamala Harris: Acknowledge that certain communities distrust police

Use of the body-worn camera equipment was thrust into the national dialogue following a string of officer-involved incidents, many involving young African Americans. Harris has established a new training protocol for law enforcement that focuses on "implicit bias" and related issues. Harris said there needs to be broader acknowledgment that certain communities distrust law enforcement.

"We have a history in this country that we can be proud of and then there's a part of the history that we are not proud of," Harris said, adding, "But we also have to acknowledge that the relationship of trust is a reciprocal relationship, and everyone has a responsibility to be a part of leading that effort."

Source: Sacramento Bee coverage of 2016 California Senate race May 27, 2015

Norma Torres: Work with the community to combat crime

Making sure the public safety system is responsive and working collaboratively with the community to combat crime has been one of Torres' priorities. A former 9-1-1 dispatcher, Torres understands the fear families face during emergencies. That is why she wrote the law that modernized the 9-1-1 system so that cell phone users are immediately routed to their local police department and not a statewide call center.

The California Sheriff's Association, League of California Cities, Professional Engineers in California Government, Yellow Ribbon America, and the American Hero's Foundation, among many others, have recognized her for her outstanding leadership.

Source: 2014 California House campaign website, Oct 10, 2014

Jerry Brown: Major reductions in our prison population

In the field of public safety, we have changed historic practices in our prison system and transferred significant responsibilities to local authorities. The Federal courts, backed up by the United States Supreme Court, have ordered major reductions in our prison population and dramatic improvements in the medical and mental health programs that the state makes available. In response, we have transferred the supervision of tens of thousands of lower level offenders from the state to our 58 counties. This realignment is bold and far reaching, but necessary under the circumstances. And local law enforcement has risen to the occasion.

Our prisons are pioneering new programs and treatments--and so are the counties. Last week, I visited the Lerdo Jail just north of Bakersfield and sat in on some classes. It was moving to hear the men's stories and the struggles they encounter.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to California legislature Jan 22, 2014

Neel Kashkari: Don't release dangerous people onto the streets

On prison reform: Kashkari says Brown has "pushed the problems on to someone else. We need temporary measures'' to ensure California will "not release dangerous people in to the streets.'' He calls for a "comprehensive review of our prison system, both looking at the number of beds we have and who we locking up,'' especially when it comes to minor drug offenses.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2014 California governor race Nov 14, 2013

Antonio Villaraigosa: Reduced violent crime by 50%; increased size of LAPD

To mark his time as mayor, his staff put together a 60-page book, titled "Straight from the Heart of L.A." that details his accomplishments over the past eight years. Among the accomplishments:
Source: Huffington Post on 2014 California Governor race Jun 23, 2013

Jerry Brown: Curb prison spending through an historic realignment

You, the California legislature, did it. You cast difficult votes to cut billions from the state budget. You curbed prison spending through an historic realignment and you reformed and reduced the state's long term pension liabilities. Then, the citizens of California, using their inherent political power under the Constitution, finished the task. They embraced the new taxes of Proposition 30 by a healthy margin of 55% to 44%.
Source: 2013 State of the State address to California Legislature Jan 24, 2013

Jared Huffman: Life-without-parole instead of capital punishment

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: No. I believe life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) should replace the failed, flawed and hugely expensive policy of capital punishment. In California, capital punishment has had the unintended effect of allowing heinous murderers to live out their natural lives in a more comfortable and secure prison setting than if they had received the sentence of LWOP, while driving up the costs of incarceration.

Source: California Congressional 2012 Political Courage Test Oct 30, 2012

Gloria La Riva: Opposes capital punishment; shut down most prisons

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?


Q: Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with vocational and job-related training and job-placement assistance when released?


Q: Do you support programs that provide prison inmates with substance abuse treatment?


Q: Do you support reduced prison sentences for non-violent offenders?


Q: Do you support mandatory prison sentences for selling illegal drugs?


La Riva adds, "The U.S. alone has 25% of the world's prison population. Most prisons should be shut down and replaced with community justice programs."

Source: California Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Julia Brownley: Opposes capital punishment

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: No.

Q: Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?

A: No.

Source: California Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Oct 30, 2010

Julia Brownley: Alternative sentencing and separate juvenile courts

Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

Q: Should a minor accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as an adult?

A: No.

Q: Should a minor who sends sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?

A: No.

Source: California Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Oct 30, 2010

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Allow private prisons to compete, to spend less on prisons

The priorities have become out of whack over the years. 30 years ago 10% of the general fund went to higher education and 3% went to prisons. Today, almost 11% goes to prisons and only 7.5% goes to higher education.

Spending 45% more on prisons than universities is no way to proceed into the future. What does it say about our state? It simply is not healthy. So I will submit to you a constitutional amendment so that never again do we spend a greater percentage of our money on prisons than on higher education.

And the way we get this done is to find more cost-effective ways to run our prison system and allows private prisons to compete with public prisons. Competition and choice are always good. I mean, California spends $50,000 per prisoner. The ten largest states spend $32,000 only.

If California's prisons were privately run, it would save us billions of dollars a year. That's billions of dollars that could go back into higher education where it belongs and where it better serves our future.

Source: California 2010 State of the State Address Jan 6, 2010

Dick Mountjoy: No visitation for sex offenders with kids or grandkids

BILL NUMBER: AB 2893 INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Mountjoy: Sex offenders: child custody and visitation. Existing law requires a person convicted of certain sex offenses to register with the local law enforcement officer of the city or county where he or she resides. Existing law prohibits a person from being granted physical or legal custody of, or unsupervised visitation with, a child if the person is required to register as a sex offender and the victim was a minor or the person has committed another specified crime against a child, unless the court finds that there is no significant risk to the child and states its reasons in writing or on the record. This bill would prohibit a person from being granted physical or legal custody of, or unsupervised visitation with, his or her children or grandchildren if the person is required to be registered as a sex offender and the victim was the person’s child or grandchild.
Source: California Legislative records, AB 2893 Dec 24, 2005

Bill Jones: Three Strikes is a worthy criminal justice reform

As the author of California’s famed “3 Strikes” law, Jones helped lead the criminal justice reforms that today are proving their worth in declining rates of crime. He is the only Republican running that has developed a comprehensive homeland defense plan that integrates local, state and federal resources.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website “Issues” May 2, 2004

Kamala Harris: Personally opposed to death penalty; as DA, never pursued it

While Harris has argued that she has always been personally opposed to the death penalty, some media sources questioned whether she altered her position in the run-up to election in 2010. Though she stated in her 2004 inaugural address as San Francisco's District Attorney that she would never charge the death penalty, when asked during her campaign for attorney general if there would ever be a time when she would seek the death penalty, she answered, "We take each case on a case by case basis, and I'll make decisions on each case as they arise."

The Chris Kelly campaign, in an effort to emphasize the San Francisco DA's refusal to enforce the law, released a video that shows Harris telling an astonished reporter for the local KTVU news station that "she had never seen a case that merited pursuing the death penalty during her time as District Attorney."

Source: coverage of 2016 California Senate race Jan 30, 2004

  • The above quotations are from State of California Politicians: Archives.
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