Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged politicians to stop building more prisons to deal with violent crime and instead provide more hospital and counselling services to lawbreakers that are mentally ill.
Her remarks drew immediate condemnation from her pro-law-and-order critics.
“If we want to reduce violent crime, if we want to reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them,”’ Ocasio-Cortez said during a Bronx event Thursday.
“The solution is to be certain we really build more hospitals, we cover organizers, we get individuals mental health care and general health care, employment, etc.. It is to encourage communities, not throw them away.”
The New York Rep. slammed jails as “garbage bins” for people who are actually suffering from mental health issues.
“When you actually open a doorway to a prison and look at who’s inside a huge quantity of people are coping with untreated mental health problems,” she said.
“It isn’t acceptable for us to use jails as garbage bins for human beings. We will need to treat people and thus it’s not a place for us to throw people for whom we don’t wish to invest in the genuine holistic issues of their own lives.”
AOC’s comments come amid a spike in violent crime in the city. Shooting incidents were up 86 percent in May compared to a year, according to the NYPD.
AOC also called jails “garbage bins,” for those who have mental health issues.Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA
Hate crimes have also skyrocketed.
Law and order critics pounced.
“If AOC had her way… there would be no jails, no arrests, no authorities (except her personal security). New York City will be turned into a 24/7 movie set for’The Purge,”’ Staten Island Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said in a tweet.
“It is ludicrous to say this in a time when nearly every category of big crime is up in our town and offenders are back onto our streets immediately after being detained to strike again. She does not have any respect for public safety, no regard for law enforcement and is a hypocrite because she walks around with personal security.”
Said upstate Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik:”Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and far-left Democrats called to abolish ICE and stop funding for the boundary wall, and we now have the worst immigration crisis in 20 years.
“They called to defund the police, and violent crime in nearly every city across America has tragically skyrocketed. Now, they want to get rid of jails. While the Democrats continue to dismantle our institutions, safety and security, Republicans stand strongly with the American people on the side of law and order.”
But AOC stated an”extraordinarily high number of people who are responsible for hate crimes are suffering from severe mental health issues.”
She asserts the”gutting” of support for mental health services is connected to homelessness and violent crime.
Legislation has been on the rise in NYC in 2021. Christopher Sadowski
AOC, a Democratic Socialist and emerging leader of the Democratic Party’s left wing, made the remarks during press conference at Jacobi hospital at The Bronx Thursday along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Westchester).
They discussed a program about preventing and reducing crime through a community outreach program, Stand Up To Violence.
Schumer, through a spokesman, declined comment on AOC’s anti-jail remarks.