Governor Doug Burgum Thursday joined a group of fellow governors, White House staffers, President Trump and others for a “State Leaders Roundtable on Prison Reform” in Bedminster, N.J.
Those attending the afternoon meeting discussed successes and challenges of prison reform at the state level.
The talks also touched on the federal prison system and efforts to pass prison reform in Congress.
In his remarks, Burgum noted the high rates of addiction among North Dakota’s prison population.
“We can’t solve a chronic health care problem with punishment. We’ve got to treat it like a disease and solve it that way,” Burgum said. “”n the end, we’re trying to create better neighbors, not better prisoners. … It’s education, it’s career skills, it’s treatment. Those are the things we have to focus on. If we can do that, we can turn people’s lives around and add people to the workforce.”