Make no mistake: I am no softie on crime. Nor do I believe that criminals should be coddled or treated with kid gloves. Those who break our laws should be held accountable for their actions. Whether they are serving time for drug possession, drug trafficking, burglary, aggravated assault or murder, they are the wards of the state’s Department of Corrections. As such, the state is responsible for their basic human rights, including feeding them and providing health care.
Having served as chairwoman of the Senate’s Criminal Justice committee for several years, I had the unpleasant task of visiting a dozen or so of our prisons. If anyone believes inmates enjoy a cozy life at a state prison, they’re grossly mistaken. Most prisons are not air-conditioned, and are old and in need of maintenance and major repairs.
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