The horrific shootings in the last few months have generated calls for reform of our criminal justice system. Although change is necessary, we need to implement new policies based on what works rather than what feels good.
The community’s knee-jerk reaction demanding the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time is a path we have been down before and it hasn’t worked.
According to an Albuquerque Journal article published in January of this year, New Mexico has the second highest violent crime rate in the country. This unenviable statistic is nothing new.
We have been the leaders of violent crime for decades and previous attempts to incarcerate our way out of the problem have failed. In the last 15 years we have increased penalties for many crimes and reduced the numbers of people who are released early from prison.