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Old 04-27-2002, 10:37 AM
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Default Food for thought....

Rod Blagojevich as governor: "I'll fire prison boss!"

by Chinta Strausberg
staff reporter
Chicago Defender
Monday Feb. 11, 2002

If elected, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Rod
Blagojevich said he'll fire Illinois Department of
Corrections Director Don Snyder because the prison
system is too broken to be fixed.

Referring to the Tamms prison where inmates are
virtually kept in their cells for almost 24 hours,
Blagojevich said at a Chicago Defender Editorial Board
meeting: "The problem with the Tamms program is the
problem of the criminal justice system and goes to the
(use of) one size fit all" formula he says doesn't
work.

He said the minimum mandatory sentences "are wrong
because they don't apply fairly because every case,
every person's background is different."
He said treating all inmates the same is also wrong.
"You have to reform the Tamms system, and it should
not apply across the board with this one-size fit
all."

Vowing to reform the prison system, Blagojevich said
he'd begin by firing Snyder. "I know him. I don't
dislike him personally, but, I knew him when I was a
state representative. "He is Pate Philip's (Senate
President) appointment and he views criminal justice
like Pate Philip, and it's too simplistic, to rigid,
to punitive and it's not rehabilitative enough."

He said there is a morale problem that exist as well.
Blagojevich furthur said it is "unfair' to have the
"C" number inmates who have been languishing in prison
since the 1970's with no outdate. He vowed to end that
practice he called "unfair".

"When you have a budget crisis and you're cutting
money to hospitals that serve poor people... hospitals
that serve communities in rural communities, and
cutting programs that help people, it seems to me"
that the state needs a governor with different
priorities.

Blagojevich also vowed to reform the Illinois Lottery
to ensure that the proceeds go towards education and
not, as it currently is, just a swap of funds from the
general revenue pool. He also said he's not going to
promise something he can't deliver and said his
opponents chalk up to "half-measures dressed up as
solutions.

"They're like the lottery, a bit of a shell game. They
promise a little bit. It sounds good, but when you
look at the details, you say 'my mom doesn't get
covered.' "It sounds good politically, but, in the
details there isn't the will or the commitment to put
the money behind getting it done; so, I"m trying to be
as honest as I can on my plans."
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