Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at CNN Town Hall 1/28/2019.
CNN
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at CNN Town Hall 1/28/2019.
Now playing
02:17
Kamala Harris defends her record on criminal justice
CNN
Now playing
02:42
'This is insane': GOP Arizona county official slams election 'audit'
FLINT, MI - OCTOBER 31: Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Northwestern High School on October 31, 2020 in Flint, Michigan. Biden is campaigning with former President Obama on Saturday in Michigan, a battleground state that President Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
FLINT, MI - OCTOBER 31: Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a drive-in campaign rally for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Northwestern High School on October 31, 2020 in Flint, Michigan. Biden is campaigning with former President Obama on Saturday in Michigan, a battleground state that President Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:54
Obama slams GOP's opposition to voting reform
CNN
Now playing
02:39
NY candidate says he's joining forces with his opponent. Here's why
Now playing
03:36
They stood up to Trump's lies and now are losing their jobs
Now playing
02:34
Schumer on infrastructure talks: We need big, bold change
CNN
Now playing
03:14
This family's lives will be changed by the child tax credit
CNN
Now playing
02:46
Toobin on Supreme Court ruling: I was struck by Kavanaugh's opinion
Getty Images
Now playing
02:47
Enten: Straw poll of GOP activists rates DeSantis over Trump
jake sullivan russia sanctions bash sotu vpx_00000000.png
jake sullivan russia sanctions bash sotu vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
01:48
Sullivan: US preparing more Russia sanctions over Navalny poisoning
cnn/getty images
Now playing
01:55
Sanders won't say if he'll support Manchin's voting rights compromise
President Joe Biden speaks about reaching 300 million COVID-19 vaccination shots, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, June 18, 2021, in Washington.
Evan Vucci/AP
President Joe Biden speaks about reaching 300 million COVID-19 vaccination shots, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Friday, June 18, 2021, in Washington.
Now playing
01:31
'A private matter': Biden on US Catholic bishops' potential rebuke
Critical Race Theory
KSDK
Critical Race Theory
Now playing
04:39
Mom gets emotional during heated forum on critical race theory
FILE - This June 8, 2021 file photo shows the Supreme Court building in Washington. A Thursday, June 17, 2021 Supreme Court ruling that favored Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia was far from the constitutional gale wind that would have reshaped how courts interpret religious liberty under the First Amendment. Governmental entities are now on notice that if they want to ban discrimination against LGBTQ persons or anyone else, they had better not allow for any exceptions -- or else religious groups will have the right to ask for them, and they'll have a strong case for getting them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
FILE - This June 8, 2021 file photo shows the Supreme Court building in Washington. A Thursday, June 17, 2021 Supreme Court ruling that favored Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia was far from the constitutional gale wind that would have reshaped how courts interpret religious liberty under the First Amendment. Governmental entities are now on notice that if they want to ban discrimination against LGBTQ persons or anyone else, they had better not allow for any exceptions -- or else religious groups will have the right to ask for them, and they'll have a strong case for getting them. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Now playing
03:32
Obamacare has survived over 2,000 attempts to kill it
mike pence heckled at conservative conference vpx _00000918.png
CNN
mike pence heckled at conservative conference vpx _00000918.png
Now playing
02:21
Mike Pence heckled at conservative conference
This Morning
Now playing
03:22
Ted Cruz: Critical race theory is as racist as Klansmen
Des Moines, Iowa CNN —  

Sen. Kamala Harris defended her criminal justice record during CNN’s town hall on Monday, rebutting some liberal criticism of her record by arguing that she had “been consistent my whole career.”

The answer, which was succinct and direct, showed that Harris is not only aware of the criticism of her time as district attorney of San Francisco and attorney general of California, but is prepared to take it on.

“I’ve been consistent my whole career,” she said in response to a question that asked her to address her “contradictory past.”

“My career has been based on an understanding that, one, as a prosecutor, my duty was to seek and make sure that the most vulnerable and voiceless among us are protected.”

She added, “I have also worked my whole career to reform the criminal justice system, understanding, to your point, that it is deeply flawed.”

RELATED: Live updates: Kamala Harris takes questions at CNN town hall

The liberal pushback to Harris’ record on crime was epitomized by a recent op-ed by Lara Bazelon, former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent in Los Angeles.

“In her career, Ms. Harris did not barter or trade to get the support of more conservative law-and-order types; she gave it all away,” Bazelon wrote.

Harris listed a litany of actions she took as attorney general, including:

  • Starting implicit bias and procedural justice training for police officers
  • Starting an open date initiative for her department
  • Requiring agents with her department to wear body cameras

Harris also outlined how she is “personally opposed to the death penalty,” adding “that is not going to change.” In addition to calling it a “flawed system,” Harris said it is “cheaper to let people spend their life and end their life in jail.” She did not mention that she had defended California’s death penalty in court.

Harris went on to say there is still a lot of work to do on criminal justice, namely addressing mass incarceration, bail revisions and the disproportionate application of the criminal code, but stands by what she has done.

But in a nod to some decisions she made in the past to punish criminals, Harris said that those changes need to be balanced with the need to impose penalties on those who commit crimes.

“We all realize it is a deeply flawed system, but we also want to make sure that when a woman is raped, a child is molested, one human being is killed by another human being, there is going to be consequence, and serious consequence, for those crimes,” she said.

Pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on some of the pushback to her record, Harris said she would compare her record to that of any other elected prosecutor in the country and knows there are some people she can’t win over.

“I will also say that there is so much more work to do,” she said. “And do I wish I could have done more? Absolutely, I do wish I could have done more.”