(Austin / San Antonio / statewide) Representative Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio) released the following statement after the press conference held at the Capitol this morning:
“It is truly fantastic to see the creation of the Smart on Crime Coalition between the Texas Association of Business, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, and Goodwill Central Texas. Their collaboration and consensus demonstrates a positive and effective approach on the criminal justice policy matters they identified today.
“I agree with Traci Berry’s comments on behalf of Goodwill of Central Texas, that removing barriers to employment by implementing restorative justice programs is a huge revenue generator for the state. Bill Hammond is absolutely correct that locking people up and throwing away the key is not always the best response; rehabilitation programs, education and job training can definitely provide many offenders with a pathway to greater productivity in society.
“What’s more, when we help individuals realize their capabilities as reliable employees, supportive family members, and contributors to the economy, it creates a win-win-win trifecta. As a result, our communities are safer and more stable due to reduction of crime, less reliance on assistance programs, greater self-responsibility, and ultimately the attainment of their self-respect and human potential.
“The combined intellect and influence of these groups will be extremely helpful during the Legislative Session of 2015. The members of the Smart on Crime Coalition are to be commended for their insight, collaboration, courage, and call to action.”
Representative McClendon is available for further comment upon request.
Representative McClendon is currently serving her ninth term representing Texas House District 120. She serves as Chair of the House Committee on Rules & Resolutions. She also serves on the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on Transportation.