State of Wisconsin Archives: on Crime


Tony Evers: Granted the first pardons in our state in nine years

I also promised that criminal justice reform would be a central focus of my administration. Part of reforming our criminal justice system is believing in forgiveness and the power of redemption--things that I think speak to the character of our state. I made good on my campaign promise to reinstate the pardon review board. We granted the first pardons in our state in nine years, offering forgiveness and a second chance to folks who've made amends in their lives and communities.
Source: 2020 Wisconsin State of the State address Jan 22, 2020

Tammy Baldwin: Criminal justice system needs review to ensure fairness

Senator Baldwin helped reintroduce the˙National Criminal Justice Commission Act, legislation that would task a National Criminal Justice Commission to propose reforms to address issues facing the criminal justice system. Our criminal justice system needs a top-to-bottom review to ensure we're doing everything we can to promote public safety, reduce crime and lower recidivism rates. This effort is an important step in the right direction to keep communities safe and make the system more fair.
Source: 2022 Wisconsin Senate campaign website baldwin.senate.gov Oct 16, 2019

Phil Anderson: End mandatory minimum sentences

A: OPPOSE! We need massive criminal justice reform, including marijuana legalization, ending mandatory minimum sentencing, jury nullification, a robust pardoning and expungement program, and restoring voting rights to parolees and the incarcerated.˙
Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Wisconsin Governor candidate May 18, 2018

Kelda Helen Roys: Stricter punishment doesn't reduce crime

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

A: Strongly Oppose

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Wisconsin Governor candidate May 5, 2018

Kathleen Vinehout: Revamp policies so we don't jail so many

We have to change our criminal laws so we are not jailing twice as many of our citizens as Minnesota. Truth in Sentencing standards need to be changed. Bail procedures must be changed. We need treatment alternatives to prison for those with substance abuse and mental health problems. We need more effective probation and parole. Supports are essential in helping those released from prison to reintegrate into our communities.
Source: 2018 Wisconsin Gubernatorial website KathleenVinehout.org Feb 22, 2018

Bob Harlow: Get people out of prisons and back to living their lives

Harlow posted on Twitter: "We need to get people out of prisons and back to living their lives. #CriminalJusticeSystem"

OnTheissues note: The hashtag "#CriminalJusticeSystem" is associated with a desire for reforming prisons and favoring alternative punishment.

Source: Twitter posting on 2018 Wisconsin gubernatorial race Dec 31, 2017

Leah Vukmir: Law and order is a critical issue

President Trump talked a lot about law and order during the campaign, and Leah Vukmir agrees this is a critical issue. We must make sure our police officers have the equipment & tools they need to combat violent criminals and keep our communities safe. Leah has introduced multiple pieces of legislation to toughen penalties for violent criminals because she believes we need to send a message to repeat felons that their behavior will not be tolerated.

Those that keep Americans safe at home are our brave first responders--our police and firefighters. Leah stands with their efforts to keep us safe and believes the unfair attacks on police officers specifically by the fringe left need to stop. Police officers deserve our praise and thanks, not protests and attacks.

Source: 2018 Wisconsin Senate campaign website LeahVukmir.com Aug 10, 2017

Bernie Sanders: We need fundamental police reform

CLINTON: We have to restore policing that will actually protect the communities that police officers are sworn to protect. But, I would also add this. There are other racial discrepancies. Really systemic racism in this state, as in others, education, in employment, in the kinds of factors that too often lead from a position where young people, particularly young men, are pushed out of school early, are denied employment opportunities. So, when we talk about criminal justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration, we also have to talk about jobs, education, housing, and other ways of helping communities.

SANDERS: We need fundamental police reform. I would hope that we could all agree that we are sick and tired of seeing videos on television of unarmed people, often African-Americans, shot by police officers.

Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin Feb 11, 2016

Bernie Sanders: By 2020, I pledge to have fewer people in jail than China

Where we are failing is in the very high rate of recidivism we see. People are being released from jail without the education, without the job training, without the resources they need to get their lives together, then they end up back in jail. When we have more people in jail, disproportionately African American and Latino, than China does, a communist authoritarian society four times our size. At the end of my first term as president we will not have more people in jail than any other country
Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin Feb 11, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Whites & blacks smoke pot equally, but blacks go to jail

What we have to do is end over-policing in African- American neighborhoods. The African-American community and the white community do marijuana at about equal rates. The reality is four times as many blacks get arrested for marijuana. Far more blacks get stopped for traffic violations. We need fundamental police reform when we talk about a criminal justice system. What we have got to do is make it clear that any police officer who breaks the law will be held accountable.
Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin Feb 11, 2016

Glenn Grothman: Community notification when sex offenders become residents

Source: 2014 Wisconsin House campaign website, GlennGrothman.com May 31, 2014

Mark Neumann: Death penalty for terrorism convicts

Question 13. Should those convicted of carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States regardless of country or origin be given a death penalty?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire Aug 13, 2012

Tommy Thompson: Death penalty for terrorism convicts

Question 13. Should those convicted of carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States regardless of country or origin be given a death penalty?

Mark Neumann: Yes

Tommy Thompson: Yes

Source: 2012 Wisconsin Tea Party Senate Debate Questionnaire Aug 13, 2012

Tom Barrett: My police department arrests felons instead of hiring them

In the final debate between the two candidates, Barrett accused Walker of dirty tactics for airing a crime-themed ad he compared to the notorious "Willie Horton" spot--and then he all but called Walker a crook: "I have a police department that arrests felons," Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, said in the debate's most charged exchange. "He has a practice of hiring them" [referring to the John Doe scandal].

The ad in question, being aired by Walker's campaign, opens with the blurred face of a 2-year- old who died after being hospitalized for child abuse. "But Tom Barrett's police department didn't consider it a violent crime," the narrator intones, going on to conclude that Barrett "isn't telling the truth."

The Milwaukee police department failed to correctly report many violent crimes, making the city's crime statistics look better than they actually were. But Barrett contends that the ad's emotionally charged imagery all but accuses him of killing a small child.

Source: The Atlantic on 2012 Wisconsin gubernatorial recall debate Jun 5, 2002

Tommy Thompson: Zero tolerance approach to crime

Gov. Thompson believes the most fundamental responsibility of government is to provide a safe environment for its citizens to live, work and play. Therefore, the governor takes a zero tolerance approach to crime. The governor is dedicated to making sure Wisconsin remains a safe haven for its citizens and visitors.

1999 crime statistics indicate state residents are enjoying the lowest total of index crimes in 26 years (index crimes include murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault).

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site Dec 25, 2000

Tommy Thompson: Truth in Sentencing, no exceptions

Gov. Thompson eliminated the charade of parole and mandatory release, imposing a new program called Truth in Sentencing.

The program is as straightforward as it sounds: a criminal will serve 100 percent of his or her sentence. No exceptions. No excuses. From now on, when a judge hands down a 20-year sentence, the criminal will serve 20 years behind bars. “We are weighting the scales of justice back in favor of the law-abiding citizens of Wisconsin,” Gov. Thompson said. Judges will now hand down two sentences: a prison sentence and an extended supervision sentence. The extended supervision sentence must be at least 25 percent of the prison sentence. Therefore, on a 20-year prison sentence, the criminal must spend at least five years under extended supervision after serving his sentence.

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site Dec 25, 2000

Tommy Thompson: Life means life, no possibility of parole

Gov. Thompson also eliminates time off for good behavior and replaces it with more time for bad behavior. Prison officials can now extend a disruptive prisoner’s time behind bars as well as transfer a prisoner to a more secure and strict prison.

The governor created a “life means life” law that allows judges to sentence murderers to prison without the possibility of parole.

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site Dec 25, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Wisconsin 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 29, 2021