Endorse NM SAFE

New Mexico’s criminal justice system is broken. Crime is on the rise and most politicians just keep talking about tougher penalties. But these penalties do not deter criminals, and do nothing to help increase public safety. So who are we really helping? New Mexicans have endured decades of this broken system and it’s time for that to end.

New Mexico SAFE has created a litmus test for legislation that can break through the gridlock, move New Mexico into the 21st century, and protect future victims from violent crime. New Mexico SAFE sets the standard for serious legislation to fix our broken system. We should ask whether a bill meets four simple standards:

  1. Does it make New Mexico SAFER for children and families? Tougher penalties do not correlate with a decrease in crime. Serious legislation must prevent tragedies before they happen to make New Mexico safer for children and families.
  2. Is it APOLITICAL? Too many politicians in New Mexico use tough-on-crime proposals to prop up their political campaigns. Serious legislation must address the problem of crime and public safety, not advance a political agenda.
  3.  Is it FISCALLY-RESPONSIBLE? New Mexico has one of the nation’s most devastating budget crises. Any serious legislation must be fiscally responsible. If it doesn’t actually make communities safer, it’s not worth the money.
  4. Is it EVIDENCE-BASED? Finally, serious legislation must be supported by evidence that it actually works. We cannot afford to waste time on bills that have no proven track record of reducing crime or increasing public safety, nor bills whose implementation has shown bias or inequitable treatment.

The first set of policies we are proposing that fit the NM SAFE framework:

  1. Require that all bills that increase criminal sentences have an appropriation attached to them.  
  2. Put resources into preventing violent crime, not nonviolent infractions.


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