Transcript: CDCR Secretary Jeffrey Beard’s remarks at his senate confirmation hearing on June 19, 2013
Partial transcript of remarks by Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, at his confirmation hearing before the California Senate Rules Committee on June 19, 2013:
I want to say good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members. I’m really excited about this opportunity to be here and I’m honored have the chance to be considered for confirmation.
I think this is a really great time to be working for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
I think there has been some significant changes to the department over the past few years, primarily the great reduction in population. I mean, there’s 25% less inmates today than there were back in 2006 and just in the last in a little over 18 months, we’ve lost some 18,000 inmates.
And this finally puts the department in a position, I believe, where they can do some things operationally and programatically that we’ve always wanted to do but that they were unable to do because of the severe overcrowding that existed.
And I think as a result, we’re going to be able to make these institutions safer and more orderly. And I think we’re also going to be able to do a better job with one of our primary public safety missions and that is to better prepare the inmates who are sent to us so that when they’re released, they’re more likely to succeed when they get back out into our communities and we’ll have less crime and the public would be safer.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with the staff at CDCR.
I’ve had a chance now to visit 30 of the 33 institutions. I’ve been to two of the three juvenile facilities, and I’ve been to a number of the parole offices.
And I’ve been extremely impressed all the way from the line level up to the highest levels in the headquarters with the quality of individuals with their hard work and their dedication that they give everyday to preserve the public safety for the people of the state of California.
So it’s really an honor to even have an opportunity to be here today.
I have four major goals.
The first is to make the prison safer and more orderly, and we can do that by reducing the contraband in the prisons, primarily the drugs and cell phones.
Secondly, is to continue improving the programs in our prisons. Those programs were cut severely over the past few years. We’re beginning to rebuild those programs. And we’ll continue to do that. I particularly want to put some additional emphasis on substance abuse treatment. I think we’re sorely lacking in that area.
My third goal is to continue to work to try to reduce and eventually eliminate the court oversight. I think at one time that court oversight may have been necessary and it served a purpose, but now it may not be helping us move ahead as quickly as what we could move if we didn’t have it.
And my fourth goal is to continue to support Realignment and to work with the counties and to do what we can to help realignment continue to move forward and succeed.
Again, I thank you for the opportunity to be here and I look forward to any questions you may have.
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