Tags: Gun Control | john cornyn | crime | mental health | reform

Sen. Cornyn: Being Tough on Crime is No Longer Good Enough

 MSNBC'S "Morning Joe."

By    |   Monday, 05 October 2015 12:54 PM

A renewed bipartisan push for mental health and criminal justice reform is "encouraging," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Monday, and he believes it's because people in places like his home state of Texas are realizing that simply being tough on crime is not good enough.

"You have to be smart and realize people are going to get out [of jail] and realize people are going to get out, and make sure they're better-equipped so they don't come back," the Texas senior Republican senator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

"Providing incentives to deal with drug and alcohol addiction and other things so you don't feel like you live a life of crime and can be a productive citizen is a good thing."

Cornyn, who introduced the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act in August, said he does not believe the growing "Black Lives Matter" campaign or other factors have made the bill more difficult to be approved.

"What it indicates to me is there are some larger problems with regard to how do we deal with authorities and police, and how do we deal with the feeling on the part of some parts of the community that they're not being treated fairly, or [are being] targeted," he said. "This criminal justice bill is one that enjoys broad bipartisan support."

He also said that he believes there are changes needed in the country's mental health services to help prevent mass shootings such as the one last week in Oregon, and his bill carries provisions to that end.

"There are many people living on the street who are mentally ill and our jails are populated by people who are mentally ill," he said. "Those need to be handled differently from people committing ordinary street crimes."

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A renewed bipartisan push for mental health and criminal justice reform is "encouraging," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Monday, and he believes it's because people in places like his home state of Texas are realizing that simply being tough on crime is not good enough.
john cornyn, crime, mental health, reform
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2015-54-05
Monday, 05 October 2015 12:54 PM
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