Having made it through the primaries, Republican Frank Antenori will run against David Gowan 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?
Yes, right now there is a policy where we are allowing people to get out of jail who haven’t fully served their sentence because we don’t have space. I would like to see private contractors run some of the lower-security prisons in this state to reduce costs. I’ve built prisoner war camps- it’s not hard and it’s not expensive. That would free up the heavier lifting and the state can run the violent criminal prisons.
Should we spend more on programs that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?
Not for inmates who received life sentences. If you’ve got an inmate who was caught with cocaine and is serving five years, yes, I think that guy needs another line of work so he doesn’t go back to selling drugs. For the murderers and rapists, sorry buddy, you’re in the can and you’re staying there. If it was up to me, I would stick them in a room with a little 6-inch by 6-inch window and nothing else.
Should we look at alternatives to imprisonment for non-violent offenders?
Yes, you can’t just lock everybody up. There are some people who had no parents and grew up in an environment that was not conducive to societal norms and behaviors. My idea is to take these people and put them in a reform school atmosphere where they are given an alternative such as a boot camp. If it’s a first offense they could attend this special school and would be allowed to re-enter society with a clean slate. Now, if they screw us and commit another felony or don’t attend class they get sent to jail.
Do you support “hate crimes” legislation that increases penalties for crimes based on race, ethnic background, religious belief, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation?
Absolutely not, there’s no difference between you, me, or anybody else, regardless of skin color. If I murder you, it doesn’t matter whether I murder you because I hate women or because I just hate you. The crime is still murder.
Should the state spend more on programs and facilities for at-risk youth?
I think that kids need structure, they need discipline and they need a father or an authority figure in their lives. I think there should be funding for something similar to a Big Brother program that involves some after-school productive activity or a vocational technical program that provides these kids with a marketable skill.
Should the state spend more on state and local agencies to fight terrorism?
How would that work? Cops are cops. The FBI has all the investigative capability and the NSA has all the eavesdropping and spying capability. Cops just need to be diligent, alert, and aware and so does the public. Local level is, I think, diligence.
Should the state have a “three-strikes” law that puts criminals behind bars for life for a third felony offense?
I’m all for the three-strike rule. The vast majority of people in this country go through life without even encountering the law, other then maybe a parking ticket. People who commit a felony three times in a row need to be separated from society for the rest of their lives.