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Jerry Brown on Crime

 


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

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

Cracked down on violent gangs

As Attorney General, Brown has cracked down on violent gangs, and worked closely with local police and sheriffs to apprehend dangerous criminals, con artists and major perpetrators of fraud and financial crimes.

As California's Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Brown leads a team of special agents and dedicated staff who conduct criminal investigations, enforce firearms laws and regulations, and manage the state's crime labs, including the third largest DNA database in the world.

Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, jerrybrown.org , Nov 2, 2010

CA fired 8,000 college teachers & hired 25,000 prison guards

In California, between 1980 and 1995, one new state college has been built while 8,000 teachers in higher education have lost their jobs. At the same time, 15 new prisons have been constructed and 25,000 new guards have been hired. We are witnessing an incredible reallocation of commitments in California--and it's mirrored in most of the other states--toward greater coercive control as opposed to education and enlightenment.
Source: Dialogues, by Gov. Jerry Brown, p. 74 , Dec 9, 1996

War on crime is fabricated to frighten people

CHOMSKY: The US is way ahead of the rest of the industrial world, maybe all the world, in imprisoning its own population. That's for population control. None of that has anything to do with crime.

BROWN: Some prisons are now run by companies that are listed on the stock exchanges. And you've got states like Texas building surplus capacity and then using brokers to bring in prisoners from other states, using their lower salary base to house prisoners for $40 a day rather than $80 a day. This system is working so well. Some people might say that this increase in prison population is a conspiracy, because it seems to be working almost perfectly for those with extra capacity for sale.

CHOMSKY: Everything you said is correct, but I still think that major goal of this fabricated war on crime--which is not affecting crime, incidentally--the major goal is to frighten people, and to make them hate and fear each other.

Source: Dialogues, by Gov. Jerry Brown, p.225 , Feb 12, 1996

Death penalty is a test of our humanity

Over the centuries, there has persisted the sense of an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, a belief in righteous vengeance, a primordial feeling that the killing of criminals will balance the scales of Justice. Christian denominations have accepted capital punishment, and legislation expanding the death penalty to 50 additional criminal offenses has been enacted here in the US. At the same time, Christian doctrine calls upon believers to forgive, to turn the other cheek, and in most European nations, the death penalty has been abolished.

We are faced with the question of the death penalty nearly every time we vote, either in specific crime-related measures, or by candidates promoting their stand for or against capital punishment. This question is nothing less than a test of our humanity, of how we see ourselves and others and how we define the role of the state.

Source: Dialogues, by Gov. Jerry Brown, p. 79-80 , Feb 6, 1996

1/3 of young black men in jail means absolute oppression

BROWN: Let's take a look at incarceration. It wasn't long ago, maybe 20 years, that there were a million fewer people behind bars in the US than there are today. With the increase in prison capacity that our leaders boast of, this country is embarking upon an experiment in incarceration that has never been tried outside a totalitarian regime. What are your thoughts on this?

GUEST: One in every 3 African-American young men is part of our criminal justice system, either in jail, on parole, or on more are put in jail than go to college.

BROWN: To have a percentage of a population reaching that level is staggering in its message of absolute oppression, disconnection. There's something so wrong and yet the response as far as I can tell, is to do more of the same in some vain hope it's going to turn things around.

GUEST: Just listen to the racism that permeates the political rhetoric.

Source: Dialogues, by Gov. Jerry Brown, p. 90-1 , Feb 6, 1996

Other governors on Crime: Jerry Brown on other issues:
CA Gubernatorial:
Antonio Villaraigosa
Eric Garcetti
Hilda Solis
Jerry Sanders
Neel Kashkari
CA Senatorial:
Barbara Boxer
Dianne Feinstein

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(AE) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Riggs(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D) vs.Snitker(L,Lt.Gov.)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D) vs.Hunt(L)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Aiona(R) vs.Abercrombie(D)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hatch(D) vs.Hoefling(R)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
NY: Cuomo(D) &Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
Newly-elected 2014:
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead
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Infrastructure/Technology
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War/Iraq/Mideast
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Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry

 

Page last updated: Jan 10, 2015