Transcript: CA Sen. Ben Hueso on the alternative proposal to reduce prison overcrowding – Aug. 30, 2013

Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). IMAGE SOURCE:

Partial transcript of remarks by California Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) on an alternative proposal to reduce prison overcrowding. The press briefing was held on Aug. 30, 2013: 

I support this plan because it’s long overdue and it’s time to get California working again in this area. I authored a ban on the sale of synthetic drugs two years ago because Californians want to live in safe neighborhoods. That’s why this program is so important because it promises no early release. Californians don’t want early release. They don’t want prisoners to be released into their neighborhoods. And this plan achieves that.

…Talking to constituents very recently, they asked me please to not increase fees at the universities. The California universities are the only chance their kids have of achieving an affordable education. And this plan also addresses that because it keeps our promise in Prop. 30 to spend more money into education because that’s what Californians want.

I’ve been working on some economic development initiatives in my district to reduce port wait times because they help the economy. And part of our strategy to combat crime in our state is to provide jobs for Californians.

And in a community in my district…Mesa where we’re trying to reduce port wait times, within a stone’s throw of that border crossing, we have a prison that under this proposal would increase capacity by 1,500 beds, moving in the wrong direction.

Instead of creating jobs and making investments that reduce port wait times, we’re talking about putting more people behind bars. We have to have a new strategy.

And this puts California on a new path to reduce recidivism, to get people out of prisons and working in our community, to help bring families together, to reduce the circle of poverty that we have in this state.

And this is the right plan at the right time, and I applaud the Pro Tem for being proactive and coming up with a brilliant plan to get California working again and to reduce our prison population because that’s what Californians want. They do not want to continue to foot the bill of putting more people behind bars every single year, and this will put us on a recovery plan. And this is the right approach, and I stand here in solidarity with my Senators with a solution that’s going to get California working again.


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