Critical Race Theory, prisons looming hot topics, Mobile County legislators tell Azalea City Republican Women’s club
MOBILE — Since the Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die earlier this year, Alabama’s prison woes continue to be one of the unresolved issues that lawmakers are discussing during the off-period.
However, in recent weeks Critical Race Theory as a potential part of the K-12 curriculum and state government has also emerged as a topic the legislature may have to deal with in the near future, some say.
During the July meeting of the Azalea City Republican Women’s Club last week, State Reps. Chip Brown (R-Hollinger’s Island), Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle) and Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), all members of the Mobile County legislative delegation, said to anticipate Critical Race Theory and prisons to be a part of a possible special session later this year, or the 2022 regular session.
“Looking forward, one of the hot-button issues I think is definitely going to be Critical Race Theory,” Brown said. “We already have two bills that are pre-filed. One is by Chris Pringle from Mobile, and one is by Ed Oliver from up around Tallapoosa County. That’s going to be a hot-button issue next session. They’re actually both good bills. Ed’s really covers all state agencies and covers training as well as Department of Education issues. So, I think that is going to be a hot-button issue.”
Stringer, whose wife is an assistant principal at Saraland High School, also discussed the need to address Critical Race Theory.
“We’ve got to address our education system,” Stringer said. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re injecting the politics and these radical theories into our education system. Something has to be done to address it.”
“We’ve got to make sure we are addressing this issue and not letting our children being influenced and be convinced they’re racist because of one reason or another,” he continued. “We’ve got to make sure we are teaching our children what our country stands for and what it is about.”
Simpson, who served as a prosecutor in both the Mobile and Baldwin Counties District Attorney offices, stressed the need for prisons as part of one of the primary roles of government, which is to preserve public safety.
“I was a prosecutor for 12 years,” Simpson said. “I’m going to be blunt with you guys: We need more prisons. It’s not sexy. We don’t get to run around and make press releases about us doing our job, about putting people in prison that are supposed to be in prison. That’s what we’re supposed to do as a government for public safety. That is a priority. You can’t pick up a phone book and call a private company and say this person is bothering me. He is a danger to myself and to my family. What do I do? You rely on government to do that.”
“If somebody commits a crime, it is our responsibility to make sure that that person actually has to pay consequences for that crime,” he continued. “I am all for building more prisons, and the reason why I tell you we need prisons is we have roughly 21,000 in custody of the Department of Corrections. That’s how many people are in prison in the state of Alabama. The Governor’s prison plan would have been 10,000 beds on three new prisons. And the savings on how she was going to do was by shutting down old prisons. Call me crazy, but if you have 21,000 inmates, and you have 10,000 beds, there’s a problem. And that may not be the correct solution to only have 10,000 beds for 21,000 inmates.”
Simpson explained why he advocated truth in sentencing, given his first-hand experience with the criminal justice system, and also acknowledged the need to implement measures to reduce recidivism rates.
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.