AFSC has worked tirelessly for the last 15 years to promote evidence-based alternatives to incarceration with the state’s leadership, and is pleased to see progress being made.
The Governor’s leadership on sentencing reform is courageous and timely. Everyone knows that constant prison expansion is not only unsustainable, it is also not producing a proportional increase in public safety.
The group now calls on the Governor and state legislature to nix plans for funding 1,000 more private prison beds through a new contract with Corrections Corporation of America, and to deny the Department of Corrections’ request for permission to bid out an additional 2,500 beds.
The requested beds simply will not be needed. In addition to the Governor’s plan, there are bills ready to be introduced this session that would cut the prison population substantially, eliminating the need to commit the state to another costly 20-year contract with a for-profit prison corporation.
The majority of other states, including those with conservative leadership, have proven that evidence-based sentencing reform can cut prison costs and produce greater gains in crime and recidivism reduction. We hope this is the beginning of a constructive dialogue about safely reducing prison populations and we look forward to sharing ideas with our state leadership.