John Hickenlooper on Crime
Longer minimum prison sentences do not reduce crime
Public safety is a priority for every Coloradan. We can be tough on crime while also smart about spending taxpayer money. Key Priorities:
Over 25 years ago, we passed a law in Colorado doubling sentences for all crimes, leading to predictable increases in our prison populations. The hope was that longer sentences would keep the public safe, but longer minimum prison sentences do not reduce
crime. If many people return to prison within 3 years of their release, we must examine our flawed, one-size-fits-all approach. We need to evaluate what services and supports can lead to better outcomes and reduce recidivism and excess costs to taxpayers
Source: 2014 Governor campaign website, HickenlooperForColorado.com
, Sep 1, 2014
- Review existing incarceration policies and better coordinate with human services.
- Put evidence-based
actions into place and review how federal resources are allocated statewide to support effective law enforcement.
- Continue to build on and improve transparency and communication, connecting all local jurisdictions across the State.
$34 million for violence-preventing mental health services
Part of what has gotten overlooked in the debate about guns is our work on mental health. When you look at the massacres at Columbine High School and the Aurora movie theater; and the tragedies of Platte Canyon High School, and most recently at
Arapahoe High School, guns are only a piece of the puzzle. Another clear piece is mental health:
Trying to identify and assist those who are feeling isolated, bullied, the mentally ill; and trite as this may sound, those who are feeling abandoned and unloved.
We allocated more than
$34 million to create and bolster programs such as school-based mental health services, behavioral health community centers, and to train and staff round-the-clock mental health crisis centers.
Source: 2014 State of the State address to Colorado Legislature
, Jan 9, 2014
$20M for mental health 24/7 call-in centers
Q: At Arapahoe H.S., a young man walked in with a pump shotgun. Someone that is visibly armed should not be able to get in.
HICKENLOOPER: They did have a deputy sheriff on the premise. The moment there was trouble, he was running to the scene. But
there's a balance. And school administrators are trying to make a school not be a fortress. They want to be a place for education.
Q: What about the motivation of this young man?
HICKENLOOPER: There have been reports that maybe he was bullied. Last
year, we put in place over $20 million for mental health 24/7 call-in centers & mobile crisis centers, and to train people how to recognize mental illness when you see it. But this kid, by all accounts, didn't exhibit the warning signs of mental illness.
Obviously, it's hard to fathom why he would have done this without being somewhat crazy. But bullying does seem to be involved. We have programs now throughout the state, anti-bullying, trying to get kids to deal with that in a more constructive way.
Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview on 2014 Colorado gubernatorial race
, Dec 15, 2013
Page last updated: Jul 15, 2017