Americans For Prosperity's False Attack On Lynch Suggests He Compromised Public Safety

September 30, 2010 6:35 pm ET

Americans for Prosperity is out with a new ad attacking New Hampshire Governor John Lynch for supporting the Justice Reinvestment Act (Senate Bill 500). The ad dishonestly suggests that in supporting the legislation, Governor Lynch sought to balance the budget at the expense of public safety. In reality, the act will strengthen public safety while reducing costs to taxpayers. 

Americans For Prosperity: "What Are Lynch's Priorities?"

Budgeting is about setting priorities and cutting wasteful spending, not public safety. John Lynch's priorities? Urging lawmakers to pass a bill mandating early parole for prisoners, violent criminals, including sexual predators. Today, sexual predators are being released into New Hampshire communities. Lynch says New Hampshire is safer. Safer? Why would John Lynch sign a law giving sexual predators and violent criminals early parole? Call John Lynch. Tell him to balance the budget without raising taxes or compromising public safety. 

The Justice Reinvestment Act Will Strengthen Public Safety And Reduce Costs To Taxpayers

The Justice Reinvestment Act Will Lower The State's Recidivism Rate, Thereby Increasing Public Safety And Reducing Both The Prison Population And Taxpayer Costs. According to the National Reentry Resource Center: "The new law is projected to reduce the number of people who fail on probation and parole and are revoked to prison, respectively, by 20 percent and 40 percent. The recidivism reduction will gradually decrease the prison population over the next four years by 18 percent, resulting in between $7 million and $10 million in correctional cost savings." [National Reentry Resource Center, 7/29/10

Generated Savings Can Be Reinvested In Drug Treatment, Mental Health Services, And Rapid Drug Testing. According to the National Reentry Resource Center: "Furthermore, the policy changes are projected to generate savings that can be reinvested in drug treatment, mental health services, and rapid drug testing--three areas to which the state currently allocates no state funding to the community through the Department of Corrections." [National Reentry Resource Center, 7/29/10

  • Drug Treatment And Drug Tests Will Save Lives And Improve Public Safety. On May 11, 2010, Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, John T. Broderick, said in a statement on the Justice Reinvestment Act:

This impressive bipartisan, inter-branch work group unanimously endorsed a policy framework that was carefully crafted to gradually lower the prison population by reducing the number of people who fail on probation and parole.

It does this in three ways:

  • Increasing supervision for those we're most concerned about and are likely to reoffend,
  • Providing probation and parole officers new tools to hold offenders accountable when they fail to play by the rules in the community, and
  • Expanding access to substance abuse and mental health treatment.

[...]

For our state, this will mean safer communities with lower recidivism and cost savings for the state and counties. Over the next four years, our state is on track to save between $7 and 10 million. That may not sound like a lot of money here in DC, but in the context of the New Hampshire General Fund budget, I can tell you it means a great deal. The cost of providing states with the kind of intensive, state-specific technical assistance we received in NH is significant, I'm sure. But few other efforts generate the same kind of return on investment. Just the cost savings alone over four years will be more than twenty times the cost of the technical assistance required to help us identify the specific polices we employed.

The most important changes, however, are those less easily measured: the lives that are restored through effective treatment and appropriate supervision and the increased public safety our residents will enjoy as we bring down our recidivism rates, as states like Texas and Kansas have shown to be possible. [Judiciary.House.gov, 5/11/10]

New Hampshire Department Of Corrections Commissioner: SB 500 Will Reduce Workload Of Probation And Parole Officers, "Enabling Them To Spend More Time Supervising Those Individuals Who Pose The Greatest Risk To Public Safety." The National Reentry Resource Center quoted Department of Corrections Commissioner William Wrenn as saying: "New Hampshire's probation and parole officers serve on the front lines of the criminal justice system every day to protect the public through careful monitoring. This law will help reduce their workload, enabling them to spend more time supervising those individuals who pose the greatest risk to public safety." [National Reentry Resource Center, 7/29/10]

The Justice Reinvestment Act Could Save At Least $8 Million Over The Next Five Years. The Nashua Telegraph reported: "The changes could save the state at least $8 million over the next five years." [Nashua Telegraph, 7/1/10]

The Justice Reinvestment Act Mirrors Previous Bipartisan Legislation

The Justice Reinvestment Act Mirrors Previous Bipartisan Legislation. According to the National Reentry Resource Center: "SB 500, which was introduced by Senate President Sylvia Larsen (D-Concord), mirrored a framework of policies developed and endorsed by a bipartisan, inter-branch Justice Reinvestment Work Group chaired by Attorney General Michael Delaney. The legislation was cosponsored by legislators from both sides of the aisle, including House Speaker Terie Norelli (D-Portsmouth), Senate Minority Leader Peter E. Bragdon (R-Milford), and both the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over criminal justice policy." [National Reentry Resource Center, 7/29/10]  

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