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Dirk Kempthorne on Crime

Republican Governor (ID) and previously Senator


No new prisons; warehousing people is not the solution

Based on the fact that our prison population is growing at its current rate, I have received a recommendation that we should begin a construction program of a new prison every two years for the foreseeable future. But I concluded that if simply warehousing people is our solution, then we as a society have failed. Therefore, I do not recommend the construction of a new men’s prison in this budget. I do, however, recommend that additional beds be constructed.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 8, 2001

Drug treatment & education opportunities for inmates

For those inmates who need long-term substance abuse treatment, we can offer it to only 30% of the prison population. I propose that we increase that treatment to 80%. We’re going to deal with the problem of substance abuse in the prison population, and stop the revolving door of returning inmates.

In addition to treatment, I am adding a significant component toward education programs in our prison facilities. If people are going to spend time in our prison system, we’re going to provide the educational tools to help them help themselves and become more productive members of society before they are released.

We have a captive audience. Let’s remember, treatment need not be voluntary to be successful. If they have a substance abuse problem, we’re going to help them deal with that problem. If they understand the value of improving their life through education, we’re going to help them. If you successfully treat a substance abuser, you can reduce your recidivism rate by 30 percent.

Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Idaho legislature , Jan 8, 2001

Voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals.

Vote to table, or kill, a motion to send the bill back to the joint House-Senate conference committee with instructions to delete the provisions in the bill that would make it harder for prisoners given the death penalty in state courts to appeal.
Reference: Bill S.735 ; vote number 1996-66 on Apr 17, 1996

Voted YES on limiting product liability punitive damage awards.

Approval of a limit on punitive damages in product liability cases.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)59; N)40; NV)1
Reference: Conference Report on H.R. 956; Bill H. R. 956 ; vote number 1996-46 on Mar 21, 1996

Voted YES on restricting class-action lawsuits.

Restriction of class-action security lawsuits.
Status: Veto Overridden Y)68; N)30; P)1
Reference: H.R. 1058 passage over veto; Bill H.R. 1058 ; vote number 1995-612 on Dec 22, 1995

Voted YES on repealing federal speed limits.

Repeal federal speeding limits.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)64; N)36
Reference: Motion to table Lautenberg Amdt #1428; Bill S. 440 ; vote number 1995-270 on Jun 20, 1995

Voted YES on mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms.

Vote on the motion to instruct conferees on the bill to insist that the conference report include Mandatory prison terms for the use, possession, or carrying of a firearm or destructive device during a state crime of violence or drug trafficking
Reference: Bill HR.3355 ; vote number 1994-126 on May 19, 1994

Voted YES on rejecting racial statistics in death penalty appeals.

Vote to express that the Omnibus Crime bill [H.R. 3355] should reject the Racial Justice Act provisions, which would enable prisoners appealing death penalty sentences to argue racial discrimination using sentencing statistics as part of their appeal.
Reference: Bill S 1935 ; vote number 1994-106 on May 11, 1994

Supports flexible federal block grants for crime programs.

Kempthorne adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

NGA’s Position

Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA10 on Sep 14, 2001

Zero tolerance for violence against government employees.

Kempthorne signed the Western Governors' Association resolution:

    BACKGROUND
  1. America’s communities, schools and workplaces are the building blocks of our peaceful and productive society.
  2. It is the obligation of governments to ensure citizens and visitors in our nation are protected from violence and do not feel threatened by it.
  3. Employees of the federal, state and local governments, including public land managers, are sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of their offices. Government employees are working men and women with families who, as our neighbors, contribute to the communities in which they live.
    GOVERNORS’ POLICY STATEMENT
  1. Western Governors unequivocally endorse a zero tolerance for violence throughout our society. We support the use of all legal authority to prevent violence.
  2. Western Governors unequivocally endorse a zero tolerance for violence directed specifically against government employees. The Western Governors express their appreciation for all of the contributions that government employees have made and continue to make to the states and communities in which they live.
Source: WGA Policy Resolution 01 - 07: Zero Tolerance for Violence 01-WGA07 on Aug 14, 2001

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Crime.
  • Click here for policy papers on Crime.
  • Click here for a profile of Dirk Kempthorne.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Dirk Kempthorne.
Other candidates on Crime: Dirk Kempthorne on other issues:
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Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:John Kerry
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoD:Chuck Hagel
A.G.:Eric Holder
HHS:Kathleen Sebelius
USDA:Tom Vilsack

First Obama Administration:
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
DOT:Ray LaHood
DOI:Ken Salazar
DOL:Hilda Solis

Former Bush Administration:
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State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
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Page last updated: Jul 12, 2013