As a former prosecutor I know firsthand how important investments in public safety are. That is why I worked with Vice President Biden when he was in the Senate to pass a sweeping crime bill in 1994. Following that legislation crime rates across the country fell, prison populations shrank and a renewed feeling of safety was bestowed upon our communities. Unfortunately investment in public safety slowly dropped off and following 9/11 more funding went to national security as opposed to street crime in our cities and towns. We must do more to protect our children and keep our communities safe.
That is why I have introduced legislation to try and restore critical funding and attention to public safety issues and first responders. I have introduced the Protect Those Who Serve Act that would fund the renovation, construction and greening of police facilities. Our men and women in public safety need upgrades and secure building to work out of so they can effectively do their jobs. I also serve as the chairman of the Senate Prosecutor's Caucus to bring more attention to the needs of our District Attorneys and Federal Prosecutors. These public servants entrusted with protecting our communities must have the resources and support they need.
Additionally I support programs that use smart, rehabilitative measures to try and reduce our recidivism rates and turn non violent offenders into constructive members of society. However, as important as it is to support efforts to help keep people out of jail, it is just as important to educate youth about ways to stay out of trouble in the first place. That is why I support the many afterschool, job training and youth mentoring programs to help reduce the number of future criminals and victims.
A tough, smart, comprehensive strategy lowered crime rates in Boston and many other cities in the United States after that 1994 crime bill. We need to build on the successes of those years and keep our cities, towns, and rural areas safe.