George Gascon ,writing for the Huff Post, tells of his 30 years of public service including police chief and assistant police chief in cities such as Mesa, Arizona, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He proudly reflects on the successful role he played in lowering crime rates and reducing violent crimes, all without increasing the rate of prisoners. Gascon is now the District Attorney in San Francisco, and is saying that criminal justice reform in California needs to be based on reforming lives, not just on punishment.
Gascon comments to the Huff Post on three areas of reform, “…supporting prison realignment, reforming the three strikes law, and replacing the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole.” Gascon provides an excellent argument on why his reform suggestions would work. It is not often that a District Attorney is heard to say that incarcerating people is not always the best answer. Gascon advocates for harsh penalties for rapists and murders, but he calls on his state to make “courageous” changes that will help individuals with non-violent offenses change their lives for the better, and increase public safety.