If you were not already aware, New Mexico has high crime rates. According to the US Census, we are 5th highest for violent offenses (per capita) and 8th highest on property crimes.
The Rio Grande Foundation and the Drug Policy Alliance recently teamed up to exchange ideas and attempt to come to an agreement on non-partisan ways to address criminal justice issues in a cost-effective manner. Several states have been active in reforming criminal justice in their states and there is a conservative group called “Right on Crime” that advocates for reasonable reforms.
Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (our sister think tank in Texas, a state that has actively pursued reforms) presented at the recent conference in Albuquerque. His presentation is available here.
One Reply to “Reforming criminal justice in NM”
There’s no doubt but that the criminal justice system, and its related “War on Drugs”, is costly and in need of tactical and strategic reform…when you really think about it, it makes absolutely no sense. Under the current and developing system, and over the longer term, the destructive costs (both in terms of peoples lives and dollars) far out-weigh the short-term benefits.
Additionally, the benefits of legal reform are by no means limited to “criminal-side” of our “justice system”.
With the potential for real Economic growth, as a result of tort reform, and approximate employment growth of between 1% and 2% makes for legal system reforms that are worthy of state and national consideration.
The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has recently released a first of its kind working paper, prepared by NERA Economic Consulting, which examines the economic impacts of all 50 states’ legal enviroments: