Rand Paul and B. Wayne Hughes Jr.: Republicans should back Prop. 47
BY RAND PAUL / Contributing writer
Published: Oct. 28, 2014 Updated: 4:49 p.m.
We’re surprised at how many people ask why we, as Republicans, are working to change our criminal justice and prison systems. Why wouldn’t we?
We must change our current system – a system that drains tax dollars, destabilizes families and, worse, isn’t making us any safer. That’s why we have joined other Republicans, law enforcement officials, crime victims and many others in support of Proposition 47, a California ballot initiative that will prioritize incarceration resources for serious and violent crime, while investing savings in proven crime-prevention approaches.
This common-sense measure epitomizes an important trend in our country. There is a growing consensus among Americans from all political persuasions and walks of life that we must replace ineffective, unfair and expensive incarceration practices with new, smarter approaches to keeping communities safe.
The United States has 500 percent more people today in its prisons and jails than 30 years ago. Our general population certainly has not grown at this rate (it rose only 36.3 percent from 1980 to 2010); the real driver has been “tough on crime” laws that sent more people to prison for longer terms.