Having made it through the primaries, Republican David Gowan will run against Frank Antenori and Andrea Dalessandro in the general election for one of two seats in Legislative District 30 House of Representatives. We asked him some questions on crime.
Should we increase state funding for prison construction?
It’s hard because we are in such a big hole. I like what Arpaio does. I think he has a good plan and he saves the county a lot of money. At the moment we have got to come out of our money crisis.
Should we have more contracts with private prisons?
I want to see how the ones that are out there are doing compared to the public ones. It’s not that I would support it or not, I would want to take a look at them and compare them.
Should we spend more on programs that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?
Helping them earn their GED is a good thing. I think our problem is allowing them to have cable TV and other extra-curricular things. Education is a different thing. Rehabilitation is the purpose.
Should we look at alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent offenders?
I guess it depends on the severity of the crime. You want a deterrent so I would probably look at giving the murderers and rapists the same amount of time. It’s a tough decision because a criminal is a criminal and I don’t want them on the streets committing more crimes.
Do you support “hate crimes” legislation that increases penalties for crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation?
No, I believe that a crime is a crime. To me it’s hate, especially if it was committed in a violent manner. Shouldn’t matter the color of your skin…. I think we are all Americans.
Should the state spend more on programs and facilities for at risk-youth?
I don’t know. Is it necessary for the public’s safety? Or is it frivolous? Maybe it is or maybe it isn’t one that we need to maintain.
Should the state spend more on state and local agencies to fight terrorism?
I don’t know what they are spending now, but I think they should spend more on it. I do believe we need to all be prepared.
Should the state have a “three-strikes” law that puts criminals behind bars for life for a third felony offense?
That’s rough because it ties a judge’s hands. It depends on the offense too. It depends on if it’s habitual. Say it’s a burglar that continually burglarizes; is the judge putting someone away for that?