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Where I Stand

Where I Stand

Criminal Justice Reform

The US criminal justice system was put in place to protect the innocent and punish the offenders.  When the system runs effectively, recidivism rates are low, punishments fit the crime, and people are safe. Unfortunately, the current criminal justice system has not been working for the people of Arkansas.

To reform the criminal justice system in our state, we must focus on three basic principles:

Fairness: For years, the system has disproportionately targeted minorities and those who cannot afford to pay court fines and fees.  A working criminal justice system does not punish people for being poor or being a person of color. We need to ensure that the punishments applied fit the crime and the law is being applied fairly. 

Rehabilitation: It is critical that we keep Arkansas’ prison education program intact. Arkansas has an expansive prison education program and we need to make sure we continue to participate in the Pell program. However, education is not enough. We must work to rehabilitate prisoners from their addictions.  

Prevention: Part of investing in our children is ensuring they are equipped to make good decisions. Arkansas’ juvenile diversionary programs are working to do just that, but they desperately need to be expanded. We need to be sure that we are working with our community partners to mentor and invest in our youth so they don’t turn to crime. 

As Governor, Ricky would work to:

  • End civil asset forfeiture in Arkansas which allows the government to seize property without a convention of the property owner.  Arkansas currently receives a D- ranking from the Institute for Justice for civil forfeiture policies. 
  • End the death penalty in Arkansas.  Ricky severed as a prison chaplain for both the convicted death row inmates and the families of victims.  One of the executed was Ledell Lee.  Four years after Lee's execution, another man's DNA was found on the murder weapon.  It is estimated that four percent of death row inmates are innocent.  
  • Legalize marijuana for adult consumption.  For hard drugs, focus on treatment as opposed to throwing addicts in prison which leads to higher rates of relapse and increases the burden on the Arkansas taxpayer. 
  • Require body cameras to be worn by law enforcement and impose penalties for non-compliance.  In the shooting of Hunter Brittain in Cabot, the camera was not turned on. 

Lifting Arkansans Up

  • End debtors prisons in the state.  No one should be jailed for being poor.  Sadly, in 2022, Arkansas has still not ended this practice.  
  • End the remaining grocery tax which takes food off the tables of hungry Arkansans.
  • Give budget surpluses back to the people.  If the state is taking more than it needs to carry out its necessary functions, that is theft from Arkansas taxpayers and must be given back. 
  • Phase out the state sales tax which is a tax on the poorest Arkansans.  Arkansans will have more money to spend on necessities, our economy will grow as people flock from neighboring states to shop in our towns and cities. 
  • Stop giving handouts and incentives to big corporations to put small businesses out of business. 

Robust Health Care For Arkansas

Abortion

Having lived in a country where women are forced to have abortions, Ricky wants to live in a country that respects the bodily autonomy of all individuals. In all circumstances, we must understand that self-determination is quintessential for a free society. 

You can make a libertarian argument for and against abortion restrictions; however, we need to consider that prohibition hasn’t worked in nations where it has been tried.  Just like attempts to prohibit alcohol or marijuana consumption, outlawing abortion is not a practical political solution to reducing the number of abortions and can lead to unsafe conditions for women.

Market Competition

End certificate of need laws that allow hospitals and medical practices to keep out their competitors.  Imagine if you wanted to open up a restaurant and your competitors got to lobby the government to keep your business from opening up.  That is the reality of certificate of need laws.  They delay health care facilities from being built, drive up the cost of health care, lower health care standards, and in some extreme cases led to unnecessary deaths.  

Unlocking our Children’s Potential

Arkansas’ public school system has been failing our children for decades. We consistently rank as one of the worst states for public education by every measurable standard. It’s time to put our children first. 

As a parent of a non-neurotypical child, I know the struggle of trying to find a school to meet my child’s needs. 

Previous administrations have failed our children. Under a Harrington administration, parents will be empowered to choose the educational path that fits their child, not conform to a bureaucratic, one-size-fits-all system. 

Harrington also proposes that Arkansas reinstate the Arkansas State Guard to respond to natural disasters in exchange for two years of education at an Arkansas Community College.

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Mail checks to:

Ricky Harrington For Governor
PO Box 23501
Little Rock, AR 72221

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