Republican candidate Jack McMullen says Vermont’s Attorney General should focus more on crime issues.
McMullen says he has an idea that would reduce crime and cut the number of criminal offenders in the state’s prisons.
McMullen suggests that Vermont forge agreements with other states to send non-resident felons who commit crimes in Vermont back to their home states to serve their prison sentences.
He hasn’t determined how many out-of-staters are in Vermont prisons, but he says a significant number are housed at the state correctional facility in Newport.
"There’s 200 out of state prisoners there, mostly gang bangers unfortunately and they’re imposing gang discipline on that prison, which didn’t have that before," he says. "In addition, when these people are released on probation or parole they have to remain in our jurisdiction. Which means they bring gang discipline to the little towns they’re in. I think there’s a lot of reasons to look at this problem."
McMullen says his idea would reduce prison costs and cut crime but incumbent Attorney General Bill Sorrell has said the proposal shows a lack of understanding of the criminal justice system and it’s unlikely states would agree to it.
McMullen has also called for redirecting non-violent drug offenders from prisons to treatment centers. And he suggests decriminalizing some marijuana offenses.
"I think at least as a first step, trying to partition those kinds of crimes when other people aren’t involved, where there’s no violence, where there’s no other crime being committed, I think the first step would be to make it a very minimal notation in the books,"says McMullen.
McMullen says there’s been an explosion of drug related criminal activity that he says need to be given a higher priority by the Attorney General’s office.