The first set of policies we are proposing that fit the NM SAFE framework:
All bills that increase criminal sentences must have an appropriation and a thorough fiscal analysis attached to them. We need to analyze each bill on its impact and cost relative to other approaches, and see which serves crime survivors and taxpayers best. 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 actually prevent some of these terrible tragedies? We need policies that keep families intact and provide treatment and rehabilitation to individuals in need.
We also need to shift resources into preventing violent crime, rather than trying to address quality of life issues better left out of the criminal justice system. Police often talk about how they have to spend countless hours on infractions like loitering and urinating in public, leaving little time to address serious crime. If we treated substance abuse and mental health as a public health issue, we wouldn’t need so many police officers, district attorneys, public defenders, and jail cells. But our current system is upside down and doesn’t work to protect New Mexicans from serious crime.