Bill Owens on Crime
Republican CO Governor
DNA tests for all felons; “Two strikes” for child molesters
Since taking office, I have signed a number of public safety bills including a “two strikes and you’re out” rule for child molesters, DNA testing of all felons, and a new law that immediately revokes the parole of a parolee caught carrying a gun.
I believe we should do more. DNA testing today allows us to solve murder, rape and other violent crimes decades after the crime is committed. It is time to remove the statute of limitations on such crimes. We should do all we can to catch, prosecute and
lock-up rapists and other violent criminals, whether they committed the crime ten days ago or ten years ago.
Colorado’s judicial system is approaching a crisis due to a serious shortage of trial court judges. That’s why I support legislation to
create 24 new District Court judgeships. Since becoming Governor I have made 33 judicial appointments. These are tough judges who care as much about the victims’ rights as those of the criminals.
Source: State of the State Address to Colorado legislature
Jan 11, 2001
Supports flexible federal block grants for crime programs.
Owens adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The major crime issues for the 107th Congress will be:
- reauthorization of the juvenile justice program, which established a block grant to states for prevention and delinquency intervention programs;
- reauthorization of programs in the 1994 crime bill, including the state criminal alien assistance program (SCAAP), a reimbursement program to state and local governments for housing illegal alien prisoners;
- the state prison grants program, formally known as the Violent Offender Incarceration/Truth-in-Sentencing (VOI/TIS) grant program, [where states receive funds based on increasing the percentage of prison sentences actually served]; and
- the Byrne block grant program, a flexible block grant that states use for innovative crime and illegal drug fighting programs.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA10 on Sep 14, 2001
- NGA policy calls for reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA)
and supports the underlying principles of the act. However, NGA wants some flexibility in the core requirements, e.g., allowing some accidental contact between adults and juveniles; expanding the hours before removal from 24 hours to 48 hours; holding certain incorrigible juveniles in detention; and relaxing the disproportionate minority confinement record keeping process. The Governors urge maximum flexibility to implement the spirit and purpose of the act.
- The Governors support authorization of the juvenile accountability incentive block grant (JAIBG) program.
- The Governors also support reauthorization of SCAAP and seek to raise the reimbursement ratio.
- For the Byrne block grant program, NGA seeks to continue the current program with flexibility.
- For the state prison grants program, NGA seeks to abolish all requirements and have more flexibility, with the state designating the offender population to be served.
Zero tolerance for violence against government employees.
Owens signed the Western Governors' Association resolution:
- America’s communities, schools and workplaces are the building blocks of our peaceful and productive society.
- It is the obligation of governments to ensure citizens and visitors in our nation are protected from violence and do not feel threatened by it.
- Employees of the federal, state and local governments, including public land managers, are sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of their offices. Government employees are working men and women with families who, as our neighbors, contribute to the communities in which they live.
GOVERNORS’ POLICY STATEMENT
Source: WGA Policy Resolution 01 - 07: Zero Tolerance for Violence 01-WGA07 on Aug 14, 2001
- Western Governors unequivocally endorse a zero tolerance for violence throughout our society. We support the use of all legal authority to prevent violence.
- Western Governors unequivocally endorse a zero tolerance for violence directed specifically against government employees. The Western Governors express their appreciation for all of the contributions that government employees have made and continue to make to the states and communities in which they live.