Protecting Communities and Building Trust by Reforming our Criminal Justice System
I have helped lead the push to reform our Criminal Justice system in El Paso County. Whether it be supporting specialty courts such as our Veterans and Drug/DWI Courts, creating our pre-trial office and programs like 24 hour magistration, pushing for bail reform locally and at the state level, or setting up and investing in a robust re-entry program so we don’t just kick people exiting our jails to the curb, my work in this area has brought about cost avoidance as we lower our jail population, and will no doubt continue to have positive impacts on the lives of people that come into contact with the criminal justice system.
I am also proud to be one of the few local elected officials talking about the need for more accountability within policing, working together with the Border Network for Human Rights and others to push for changes in our community. We expect too much of our law enforcement officers and need to invest more in social programs that help keep people from needing to come into contact with the criminal justice system. If people have access to affordable housing, jobs, education, healthcare/mental healthcare and nutritious food, crime levels will stay low. We can’t expect to solve problems by only treating the symptoms of our ills, and need to spend more resources attacking problems at their roots.