State of Arkansas Archives: on Crime


Dan Whitfield: Need to reform, not "defund," the police

    "Defund the Police" was a terrible title to the type of reform we need. I do think we need to demilitarize the police.
  1. Higher educational requirements.
  2. Annual de-escalation training.
  3. Minimum force necessary requirements.
  4. Require a body camera while on duty and outside their precinct.
  5. Community Review Panels.
  6. Ending Qualified immunity.
Source: 2022 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Dec 6, 2020

Dan Whitfield: End the corruption of private prisons

Ending the Corruption of Privatized Prisons: The imprisonment of humans is at a record high. We have prisons that deny parole to inmates merely to keep jail cells filled, because that's how they get paid. In 2010 the two largest private prisons received nearly $3 BILLION in revenue while paying their executives over $3 million per year. It's time we stop putting criminals in cages and start rehabilitating them instead.
Source: 2020 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Jun 8, 2020

Leslie Rutledge: Death row executions continue with sedative

A federal judge upheld Arkansas' execution process, ruling that the state can continue to use a sedative in lethal injections that other states have backed away from and rejecting claims that its use amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
Source: The Journal Record on 2022 Arkansas Gubernatorial race Jun 3, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Greater firepower is not solution; deal with systemic racism

[Opponent Senator Tom] Cotton said military intervention may be appropriate. "We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction." Whitfield, an independent seeking to unseat Cotton, said greater firepower will aggravate the problem, not solve it. "We have systematic racism sown throughout our society, and until we take care of that systematic racism, we're going to be facing issues like these protests that are going on now," he said.
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Jun 2, 2020

Tom Cotton: Zero tolerance for destruction during protests

[During Black Lives Matter protests,] Cotton said military intervention may be appropriate. "We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction." Dan Whitfield, an independent seeking to unseat Cotton, said greater firepower will aggravate the problem, not solve it. "We have systematic racism sown throughout our society, and until we take care of that systematic racism, we're going to be facing issues like these protests that are going on now," he said.
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Jun 2, 2020

Ricky Dale Harrington: Prisons shouldn't profit off of people

I work in Corrections and our criminal justice system needs to change. There should be NO money making incentives to incarcerate people. No one cares until it hits them in their backyard, I say you have a duty to make sure those in power do not create a system that locks people up and uses them in a profiteering industry. #itsyourrepublic
Source: Facebook posting on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Dec 13, 2019

Ricky Dale Harrington: Prisons shouldn't profit off of people

I work in Corrections and our criminal justice system needs to change. There should be NO money making incentives to incarcerate people. No one cares until it hits them in their backyard, I say you have a duty to make sure those in power do not create a system that locks people up and uses them in a profiteering industry. #itsyourrepublic
Source: Facebook posting on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Dec 13, 2019

Ricky Dale Harrington: Reduce prison population; impose sentencing caps

Prison reform is a motivating issue for Harrington. He is a treatment coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Corrections Cummins Unit. His responsibilities include legal matters, access to courts, recreational activities and veterans affairs. He supports reducing the size of Arkansas' prison population, particularly with respect to nonviolent offenders; imposing sentencing caps; and programs that could help people stay out of prison.
Source: TalkBusiness.net on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Oct 27, 2019

Asa Hutchinson: Give criminals a second chance

We have invested more in reentry centers to give people a second chance in life. More than 1,200 inmates have graduated through our reentry facilities, and this results in a lower incarceration rate, more people working, and a reduced burden on taxpayers. We want to give people a second chance in life after they have paid the penalty for any wrongdoing, and I am proud of our employers who give them a chance!
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 15, 2019

Asa Hutchinson: Increased funding for law enforcement

I have submitted my balanced budget to you, and it includes additional funding for public safety with 30 additional probation and parole officers. It also includes $2.3 million for an increase of 24 new troopers over the next two years. The Arkansas State Police is our top law-enforcement agency, and we must support our law enforcement. And Arkansas does.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 15, 2019

Mark West: Fewer non-violent offenses, but respect victims rights

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Stricter punishment reduces crime"?

A: Oppose for non-violent drug-related offenses. Addiction is a health care issues, not a law enforcement issue. Punishments for violent and property-related crimes should be stricter, but should also respect victims rights in sentencing.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Arkansas governor candidate Apr 28, 2018

Asa Hutchinson: Four executions in 8 days; keep protocol of lethal injection

Arkansas executed a death-row inmate in the state's fourth lethal injection in eight days, concluding a frantic execution schedule officials said was necessary to carry out death sentences before one of their drugs expired. Journalists said they saw the inmate, Kenneth Williams, lurching and convulsing during the lethal injection.

Gov. Hutchinson said the executions this month were carried out under the state's protocols, and he dismissed calls for a probe into Williams's execution, saying there were no indications of pain during any of the lethal injections. "I see no reason for any investigation other than the routine review that is done after every execution," Hutchinson said. After speaking with the Arkansas Department of Correction, "I was satisfied with the information that I received, and I see nothing that draws questions that would justify anything more than a routine review," Hutchinson said. The governor also said he saw no need to alter the state's execution protocols.

Source: Washington Post on 2018 Arkansas gubernatorial race Apr 28, 2017

Asa Hutchinson: Balance public safety with giving a second chance in life

We need to continue looking at our criminal justice system in this state to assure that our incarceration policies are right-- to assure that our policy is balanced between public safety and giving those a second chance in life who have fulfilled their responsibilities to society.
Source: 2017 Arkansas State of the State address Jan 10, 2017

Curtis Coleman: No mandatory minimums, but death penalty ok

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

Coleman: Yes

Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?

Coleman: Yes

Q: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders?

Coleman: No

Source: Vote Smart Arkansas 2016 Political Courage Test Sep 1, 2016

Conner Eldridge: Work with law enforcement to reduce threats of violence

Over the last five years, I've had the honor of serving as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, working closely with our dedicated law enforcement throughout Arkansas--and this experience, along with my time in business, gives me a unique perspective on what we have to do to create better paying jobs in Arkansas, to make education a top priority and to reduce the threats of violence and abuse that are disrupting our communities.
Source: 5 News Online coverage of 2016 Arkansas Senate race Sep 9, 2015

Mark Swaney: Eliminate the federal death penalty

Swaney said he is a strong opponent of the death penalty. "When I am elected, I will seek support from other senators and other congressmen for a bill in Congress to eliminate the federal death penalty," Swaney said.
Source: KAIT-8 on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Jul 26, 2014

Mike Beebe: Let non-violent offenders repay debt to society productively

We warehouse too many people in our prisons, and at our current rate of incarceration, we will need a projected additional $1.1 billion just to supply enough beds for the next decade. The choice will be whether to raise taxes to pay for those beds, or release potentially dangerous criminals because we have nowhere else to hold them.

Conversations about our corrections system are too often dominated by fear and anxiety. Many discussions end in new laws with harsher sentences and longer prison terms. To say that the only solution is to take no chances, to lock up non-violent offenders for longer and longer periods of time whatever the cost; to do this is to give up on trying to reform our corrections system and our society.

We must appropriately punish lawbreakers, but, in some instances, non-violent offenders can repay that debt to society while remaining productive for their families and their communities. If they don't correct their ways, incarceration will always be an option.

Source: 2011 Arkansas State of the State Address Jan 11, 2011

Bruce Westerman: Supports capital punishment; opposes building more prisons

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders, such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support building more state prisons in Arkansas?

A: No.

Q: Should minors accused of a violent crime be prosecuted as adults?

A: Yes.

Q: Should minors who send sexually-explicit or nude photos by cell phone face criminal charges?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police?

A: Yes.

Westerman adds, "I believe we can reduce the need for prisons and correctional programs if we will focus on improving our childhood literacy rate and educational system as a whole while expanding our economy so that Arkansas can be the 'Land of Opportunity' for all of its citizens. For those who still refuse to abide by the law then we need the best prison system to incarcerate and hopefully correct the offenders."

Source: Arkansas Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Arkansas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Crime.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Crime:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Jan 27, 2021