New Mexico must get serious about tackling our crime problem. Every day we hear another horrific story about violent crime running rampant. This holds back our state by encouraging people to choose other states for their home, places where their family’s safety can be better assured.
We start by getting the violent, hardened criminals off the street and into prison where they belong. Our New Mexico families must feel safe in their homes.
My administration will also tackle the recidivism problem. Data shows that the two keys to keeping an offender from committing another crime are a job and housing. My HOPE initiative is already doing just that – connecting former inmates with work and a place to live as they rehabilitate their lives and become productive members of our society instead of re-engaging with crime and ending up back in prison.
Currently, estimates are that about a third of people in prisons are people with behavior and mental health issues. Those with behavior and mental illness problems who do not have criminal convictions should be separated from the criminal population and be provided the treatment they need.
I want to restore the state’s watersheds. I also want to restore the lives of first-time offenders when possible.
We will establish Restoration Programs – restoring forests and restoring lives.
Judges will have the flexibility to sentence certain first-time non-violent offenders to these programs.
The programs will have apprenticeship training available in evening hours after work has finished for the day.
Reclaiming lives will help families, the individuals, and NM while helping redirect people who were headed for a life of crime.