Justice and public safety is a PRIMARY role of government and we don't spend enough on it. The percent of the state budget going to justice and public safety is inadequate to meet the need for speedy trials and appropriate discipline. This must change! We must also ensure that our police, fire, and rescue workers are well trained, well equipped and ready to protect our citizens.
As an elected official, I have a moral obligation to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. Our state and nation are facing challenging times when it comes to public safety with rising crime at home and threats from abroad. We need to be sure our police, fire & rescue, and other public safety organizations have the personnel and the materials needed to protect our citizens. When faced with the tough choice between an investment in public safety and virtually any other investment, you can be certain that I will never make a choice that I believe would put citizens at risk. I will always prioritize public safety and protecting the brave men and women in police, fire, and rescue jobs.
We cannot let growing demands on the judicial system and crowding in our jails prevent us from fulfilling our obligation to remove criminals from the mainstream community. We must increase funding for prosecutors and court personnel to ensure criminals are tried and prosecuted.
If you commit a serious crime, you must go to jail and you must serve your sentence. However, there is also an important need to prepare these offenders for reentry into society. Effective prevention and rehabilitation programs will save money and strengthen our communities.
I have been impressed with some of the Restorative Justice programs as supported by Prison Fellowship. The new prisons we build should include design adaptations that would facilitate those programs which have a track record for decreasing recidivism.