GOP Backs Mandatory Terms, Inmate Rehab; Blasts Overcriminalization


The Republican Party platform adopted this week at the party’s convention in Tampa backs mandatory prison terms for gang crimes, violent or sexual offenses against children, repeat drug dealers, rapists, robbers, and murderers, declaring that, “liberals do not understand this simple axiom: criminals behind bars cannot harm the general public.” The GOP backs the death penalty in capital murder cases, supports a national registry for convicted child murderers, and opposes parole for dangerous or repeat felons. At the same time, Republicans called for more attention to prisoner re-entry to society, saying, “Prisons should do more than punish; they should attempt to rehabilitate and institute proven prisoner reentry systems to reduce recidivism and future victimization.”

The platform endorsed “new approaches, often called accountability courts,” and said, “government at all levels should work with faithbased institutions that have proven track records in diverting young and first time, non-violent offenders from criminal careers.” Republicans back state and local initiatives “trying new approaches to curbing drug abuse and diverting firsttime offenders to rehabilitation.” The platform assailed federal “overcriminalization,” noting that the number of U.S. criminal offenses has jumped from 3,000 in the early 1980s to 4,450 in 2008. It says Congress “should withdraw from federal departments and agencies the power to criminalize behavior, a practice which, according to the Congressional Research Service, has created tens of thousands of criminal offenses.”

Read the platform HERE.

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