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Schwarzenegger: We Fought Crime Successfully

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:

“Hello, this is Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with another California Report.

This week we took some big action to strengthen the safety of our communities and our people.

Now, I have always said public safety is my Number One priority.

We have done a lot of things in the last seven years.

We’ve passed Jessica’s Law and Chelsea’s Law to protect our kids from sexual predators.

We passed Proposition 69 to expand our DNA capability.

We enhanced victims’ rights.

We strengthened Megan’s Law and protected Three Strikes.

And in 2007 we approved monumental prison reform known as AB 900.

When I came into office our prison system was in crisis.

Just as our state had neglected our levees, freeways and water infrastructure, it had also neglected our prisons. When the state stopped building new prisons in the mid-1990’s, our prison population was 130,000.

When I took office in 2003, it was up to 174,000.

Inmates were double and triple-bunked.

That made our recidivism rate rise. It was a vicious cycle.

Some said the answer was to weaken Three Strikes or release tens of thousands of criminals early.

Well not on my watch.

I said we must do two things to address the overcrowding crisis. One, we must increase capacity with more beds.

And two, we must reduce the number of inmates-not by early release, but by reducing recidivism.

And in 2007 we brought Democrats and Republicans together and got those reforms done.

AB 900 will add 53,000 new beds the most in a generation.

And on Wednesday, I was at the Adelanto Jail for a groundbreaking that will add 1,400 beds to that facility.

That is in addition to the facility in Stockton that broke ground last month which will add 1,700 beds.

We are also in the process of approving new re-entry facilities to prepare inmates for life after prison.

And we have moved 10,000 inmates out of state, which has freed up space for desperately-needed rehabilitation programs.

These reforms are laying the foundation for a stable and just corrections system; one that works for all Californians, regardless if you’re living inside or outside our prison walls.

Also this week, on Friday, I was in Los Angeles to announce new CalGRIP funding.

We launched CalGRIP in 2007 to tackle gang violence.
We beefed up patrols in high-risk areas.

For the first time in history, we now have 1,000 gang members on GPS.

We also invested in prevention by awarding $50 million in grants to give at-risk kids an education and job-training.

This week I announced an additional $9 million in grants to 24 cities.

Because of our work and because of the work of our brave men and women in uniform, we have reduced gang-related homicides by 30 percent in the last three years.

I am very happy that everyone is working together: community leaders, law enforcement, the state, the locals.

By working together we are taking back our streets and protecting the people of California.

So thank you for watching and thank you for listening.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.

Written by mark@mlode.com