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Governor Christie: The Old Approach Is No Longer Acceptable

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Location: Unknown

Governor Christie: You need to be the thought leaders in changing the attitude. You know, that's an obligation of leadership. You have a title. A title is not just about being called that. It's about the obligation of leadership that comes along with it, and sometimes that means looking at some of our partners who have been involved in a different approach and saying to them that that approach is no longer acceptable in your county and that you have to do it differently, and, you know, there will be some who will accuse you of being soft as a result of that. I see one, two, three, four, at least four AUSA's who worked for me when I was United States Attorney who are now county prosecutors, and I think they can all tell you that I had lots of different reputations in the U.S. Attorney's Office. Soft was not one of them. And so we need to make sure that we use the strength that we obtain from proper and appropriate law enforcement to also play a role in making sure that our society understands the nature of this disease and what we need to do to try to fix it, and in my view and I think in yours it not only involves aggressive law enforcement against those who deal drugs and those who peddle in violence and sociopathic conduct. Those people belong in jail and that's where you should put them. But for those folks whose base of their problem is addiction, if we can eliminate that, if we can give them the tools to be able to deal with their disease, they will no longer be someone we need to be concerned about but someone who will be contributing to their families first and foremost and to our greater society in New Jersey. So my charge to the prosecutors is we need to make a difference, and we don't need to make a difference just by putting people in jail. We need to make a difference by using every tool at your disposal to be able to get the type of treatment to these folks that they need in order to change our society and make it a more compassionate and productive one.


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