Grover Norquist on Oregon’s Corrections Debate
Reducing crime needn’t mean building bigger prisons
By Grover Norquist
Published: November 21, 2012, www.bendbulletin.com
As a taxpayer advocate, I was troubled to learn that Oregon’s growing prison population will cost the state $600 million in new spending over the coming decade.
Conservatives like me are known for being tough on crime. But we must also be tough on criminal justice spending, backing cost effective approaches that hold offenders accountable and protect public safety. While prisons play an essential role by keeping serious criminals off the streets, they are not the most effective sanction for every offender.
Oregonians know this to be true. For years, conservatives have looked to Oregon’s corrections and sentencing policies as an excellent model for other states. Under these policies, Oregon has used most of its state prison space for violent and sex offenders and has reduced recidivism rates through local community corrections programs that are based on scientific evidence about what works.
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