New Mexico's criminal justice system is broken. Every year New Mexico spends millions of dollars prosecuting and incarcerating thousands of New Mexicans for low-level, non-violent crimes. As a result, our police officers are overtaxed, our courts are clogged, our jails are overcrowded, and our state budget is stretched. Even though none of this has made us any safer, still every year politicians prop up their campaigns by introducing a slew of new “tough-on-crime” laws that increase criminal penalties without addressing the root causes of crime or provide rehabilitative services.

 
Our state can do better. We owe it to our communities to stop crime before it happens and protect people from being victimized in the first place. Our state must refocus its correctional efforts on cost-effective, evidence-based alternatives to incarceration that rehabilitate offenders and make our communities safer. 
By channeling low-level, non-violent offenders into alternative community-based programs, we can better provide services that are proven to reduce crime, like mental health services, drug addiction treatment, education, and job training. 
 

In October, 2016, the ACLU of New Mexico along with 25 other community organizations from across the political spectrum launched New Mexico SAFE, an innovative campaign to fix our broken justice system while keeping our children and families safe. The campaign advocates for lawmakers to apply a simple set of S.A.F.E. standards to determine whether public safety legislation:

1.       Actually makes New Mexico SAFER for children and families

2.       Is APOLITICAL

3.       Is FISCALLY RESONSIBLE

4.       Is EVIDENCE-BASED

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