The first set of policies we are proposing that fit the NM SAFE framework:
Require that all bills that increase criminal sentences have an appropriation attached to them. We need to analyze each bill on its impact and cost relative to other approaches, and see which serves victims and taxpayers better. For example, the death penalty carries an enormous cost and has no correlation to reductions in violent crime. What if those funds were applied to treatment or behavioral health services? Which approach would better prevent future victims from enduring suffering and abuse? We need alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders that keep families intact, and provide treatment and rehabilitation to help people become productive members of society.
- Put resources into preventing violent crime, not nonviolent infractions. Police often talk about how they have to spend countless hours on nonviolent infractions like loitering and urinating in public, leaving little time to address violent crime. And when nonviolent individuals are pulled into the criminal justice system, there is an enormous cost to local governments and to their families. Our current system is upside down and doesn’t work to protect New Mexicans from future violent crime.