A FAIRER COMMUNITY: PROPOSALS
A fairer community is one in which people who undermine safety are held accountable in a manner that is proportionate and restorative. It’s an environment where folks struggling with substance use, poverty, and mental health issues are not stigmatized, and are given the opportunity to get the help they need and move their lives forward in positive ways.
Equal justice. Recognize and take measures to address the troubling reality that the criminal justice system often treats people differently based on their race, class, gender, and ability. Ignoring the realities of systemic racism, cyclical poverty, and ableism and the role these forces play in our system sows widespread distrust, is inconsistent with the concept of "equal justice", and diminishes public faith in our institutions.
Rehabilitate and restore. Advocate and pursue resolutions early on that center truly rehabilitating individuals and restoring relationships, when possible, between parties. Seek resolutions that are thoughtful, deliberative, and proportional to the offense, taking into account a host of factors and long-term public safety goals.
Respect everyone. Resist dehumanizing and stigmatizing people involved in criminal cases, and treat everyone involved with basic dignity and respect. Understand that behind every case, regardless of how it appears on its face, is a complex set of factors that shouldn't be reduced into a black-and-white narrative, and that doing so undermines fairness in the system, which does not advance long-term public safety goals.
Uphold the Constitution. Respect and hold sacred the legal and Constitutional rights of everyone, like due process, fair and transparent investigations, humane treatment, timely trials, and proportionate resolutions. When we sidestep peoples' rights in order to just move things along, we undermine the overall integrity and fairness of the system, which makes our community less safe.
Reduce costs. Advocate for reforms and changes that in the long-term, reduce the staggering cost of the criminal justice system. These costs come with little accountability and fall at the feet of taxpayers and those without means, who are often indebted to fines and fees programs that help prop up the system. The lack of basic economic fairness in the system undermines public safety in the long run.
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If you'd like to mail a check, please make it payable to:
Matthias Swonger for New Mexico
P.O. Box 235, Albuquerque, NM 87103
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