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
Carly Fiorina
David Hadley
Delaine Eastin
Eric Garcetti
Gavin Newsom
Hilda Solis
Jerry Sanders
John Chiang
Neel Kashkari
Zoltan Istvan
CA Senatorial:
Dianne Feinstein

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Guadagno(R) vs.Phil Murphy(D, won 2017 primary) vs.Ray Lesniak(D, lost 2017 primary) vs.Mayor Steve Fulop(declined Dem. primary, Sept. 2016) vs.Lesniak(D) vs.Wisniewski(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R) vs.Rullo(R)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Perriello(D) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.(no opponent yet)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.David Carrington (R) vs.Tommy Battle (R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I)
CO: Ed Perlmutter (D) vs.Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.George Brauchler (R) vs.Doug Robinson (R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Drew(D) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mike Huckabee (R) vs.Adam Putnam (R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Casey Cagle (R) vs.Hunter Hill (R) vs.Stacey Abrams (R)
HI: Ige(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Andy McGuire (D) vs.Nate Boulton (D)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.J.B. Pritzker (D)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Richard Madaleno (D)
ME: (no candidate yet)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D)
MN: Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Steve Marchand (D, Portsmouth Mayor)
NM: Grisham(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
NV: Jared Fisher (R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NY: Cuomo(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Sutton(D) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Jon Husted (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D)
OK: Gary Richardson (R) vs.Connie Johnson (D)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman (D)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
VT: Scott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D)
WY: (no candidate yet)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2017):
DE-D: Carney
IN-R: Holcomb
MO-R: Greitens
NH-R: Sununu
NC-D: Cooper
ND-R: Burgum
VT-R: Scott
WV-D: Justice

Retiring 2017-18:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
IA-R: Terry Branstad
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
KS-R: Sam Brownback
(term-limited 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SC-R: Nikki Haley
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Page last updated: Jul 15, 2017