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Walker says opponents will let violent criminals out of prison early

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Gov. Scott Walker called a press conference Tuesday to call out his opponents' stances on criminal justice.

"This is one of the clearest differences people are going to face between now and November 6th," Walker said.

Walker pointed to four Democratic candidates for governor saying they want to cut the state's prison population in half.

"When it comes to violent criminals in prison, I want to keep them in for their full term," Walker said. "Many of the Democrats. Many of my opponents want to let them out."

Kelda Roys says Walker is the problem with Wisconsin's system. She said letting aging, sick and minor drug offenders out would save hundreds of millions of dollars. Roys believes she can safely cut the prison population in half in four years.

"We can just look right across the Mississippi River at Minnesota and see that they incarcerate half as many people as Wisconsin does and see that they're actually safer in terms of overall statistics," Roys said.

Tony Evers says cutting prison population in half should be a goal. prisons need more drug treatment, and the focus needs to be on preventing people from re-offending.

"If we don't believe with at least the notion of rehabilitation we're not going to accomplish that purpose," Ever said. "Other states have done this. We don't have to reinvent the wheel."

Walker says a large drug prison population is a myth, and that two-thirds of Wisconsin inmates have committed a violent offense.

"If you believe that violent offenders should serve the full sentence that they were given, then I'm the only candidate who's made that absolutely clear," Walker said.

The Department of Corrections projects the state to break its record prison population next year. The primary election to see who will run against Scott Walker is next Tuesday.


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