SENATOR PARKS COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR’S PLAN TO REDUCE PRISON OVERCROWDING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 26, 2017

SENATOR PARKS COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR’S PLAN TO REDUCE PRISON OVERCROWDING

CARSON CITY - Today, State Senator David Parks (D-Clark County) released the following statement commenting on Governor Sandoval’s plan to reduce prison overcrowding and modernize some facilities. Senator Parks welcomed proposals to make the parole and supervision process more efficient, but he cautioned against relying on private prisons that have little accountability or oversight. 

“I welcome the Governor’s proposal to speed up our parole process for eligible prisoners and to invest more money into programs to reduce recidivism. In 2007, we took similar steps and saved Nevada taxpayers more than $1.2 billion in operating and construction costs,” said Senator Parks. “At the same time, I would caution against relying heavily on out-of-state private prisons to reduce overcrowding. The private prison system is plagued with poor oversight and unsafe conditions for both staff and inmates. We should instead look to community control, addiction and mental health treatment, and other services to take more of the burden off our prison system.”

The Governor’s proposed budget calls for new investments in parole and post-release supervision. These include six new staff positions to help speed up the parole process and eight new positions to help supervise parolees after they’re released. The budget also calls for sending some inmates to private, out-of-state prisons.  

In 2007, Senator Parks, then a member of the Assembly, oversaw a reform effort to reduce the prison population when he served as chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Corrections, Parole, and Probation. According to the Pew Center, those reforms saved Nevada an estimated $38 million in operating costs and $1.2 billion in new prison construction costs. 

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