Year after year, New Mexico legislators introduce a slew of failed, repackaged “tough on crime” policies aimed at enhancing public safety.
Unfortunately, instead of making our communities safer, these policies have decimated New Mexican families. Too many of us are faced with the vicious cycle of poverty, mental illness, substance use, homelessness, and incarceration.
It’s time our elected officials think outside of the box and proactively invest in and empower New Mexico families.
Rethinking public safety means doing away with harsh sentencing policies that earn short-term political points with voters, but that wreak havoc on communities in the long run. It means addressing the root causes of crime, and ensuring all people have access to mental health care, substance use disorder treatment, and safe and affordable housing. It means approaching addiction as a public health crisis and passing evidence-based policies supported by medical professionals, instead of laws that lead to more policing, jail time, and criminal penalties.
It means imagining a different possibility for the future of New Mexico – one where all people are safe, healthy, and can thrive.