“If our citizens don’t feel safe, nothing else matters. Having a well-trained, respected, and adequately staffed law enforcement community is vital to protecting our neighborhoods. I reject the anti-police, soft-on-crime policies that undermine law and order. I will prioritize the men and women on the front lines working to keep our streets safe. As Governor, I will fight to make sure violent offenders serve their time and leverage all resources necessary to reduce the recidivism threatening our public safety.” – Sharon Hewitt
As Governor, I will support more competitive pay and reinstatement of annual training academies to help retain and recruit more troopers. And I will work to change the culture so that our men and women who wear the badge receive the respect they deserve and that any who dishonor the badge are dealt with fairly and swiftly.
Our criminal justice system needs to be reviewed. Violent offenders must stay in jail and serve their sentences. Too often victims and their families are surprised when offenders are released sooner than expected as a result of good-time credits, time served and other complicated formulas that are often misunderstood by those administering the justice system. And because of antiquated technology, our various law enforcement agencies don’t communicate, resulting in criminals being let out of jail too soon or sometimes being held too long. As Governor, I will establish a “Truth in Sentencing” task force to simplify, clarify, and provide more transparency to this process. And I will fund a new law enforcement technology system to give our law enforcement agencies the tools they need to enforce the sentencing of offenders with fidelity and transparency.
One of the most urgent challenges facing our young adults is the risk of fentanyl overdoses. As I speak to citizens across the state, everyone seems to know someone who has taken a counterfeit prescription pill laced with a lethal dose of fentanyl. It’s heart-breaking. I authored (SB 49) and co-authored other legislation to greatly increase the penalties for fentanyl dealers and those operating these makeshift clandestine labs in hopes of running these criminals out of our state and protecting our young people from one bad decision. As Governor, I will continue to fight this fight.
The reality is that upon release, non-violent offenders re-enter society with little of the training, skills and motivation required to become productive members of our society, often re-committing crimes and cycling right back into the criminal justice system. I will leverage and coordinate state, federal and private funds in support of job training, education, housing assistance and substance abuse counseling so that we permanently break the cycle of recidivism by investing in programs proven to work.