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SHOT/CHASER: Duncan Tries to Play Both Sides on Criminal Justice Reform

SHOT: Duncan attacks Ford for leading on criminal justice reform

Last week, Republican attorney general candidate Wes Duncan and the rest of the GOP ticket stood in front of a Republican women’s club and chastised Democratic candidate Sen. Aaron Ford for leading on criminal justice reform while in the state legislature, with Duncan saying that he wanted to increase sentences for those who may already be incarcerated for a lengthy term.

Duncan stood by in agreement when Republican lieutenant governor candidate Michael Roberson called Ford “pro-felon” for sponsoring legislation aimed at helping formerly incarcerated people obtain gainful employment and voting rights — key steps for people seeking to become productive citizens rather than returning to prison.

CHASER: Duncan promises to evaluate sentencing and policing reform.

The very next day, Duncan had a different story to tell in front of African-American faith leaders. In an audio recording of the event, Duncan says that he’s been listening to Nevadans and “hearing about the need for sentencing reform and for looking at policing, and … hearing different things about the way we sentence in our criminal justice system.” When it comes to improving our criminal justice system, Duncan wants “to be a person who will listen and will take action.”

Has Duncan suddenly decided to follow Ford’s lead on criminal justice reform, or was he just saying what he thought his audience wanted to hear?

LIME: Nevada’s prison population has increased 900 percent in the last 40 years, while the population has grown 250 percent.

Nevada’s penal system disproportionately impacts people of color and people in poverty. Incarcerating tens of thousands of Nevadans costs taxpayers $347 million a year. Despite incarcerating more people than the national average, crime continues to rise in Nevada.