Criminal Justice: Safety and Security for All Michiganders
Everyone has a right to be safe and secure in their communities, neighborhoods, and homes. Right now, there is still far too much crime in Michigan. While a thriving economy would go a long way in removing incentives to commit crimes, we also need to focus on prevention, protection and rehabilitation.
While proper punishment must always be enforced and violent criminals prevented from endangering the public, Michigan spends far too much time and money incarcerating non-violent criminals.
We spend $2 billion of our $2.8 billion public safety budget on prison operations. Our per capita cost is $202, compared to Minnesota’s $91. Alternative programs for nonviolent offenders would open up much of this budget and allow it to be used elsewhere. By focusing on rehabilitation, we can prevent violent crimes as well as reduce overcrowding in our prisons.
Decriminalization of Marijuana
We can cut back on overcrowding in prisons and life-altering felony charges by decriminalizing marijuana. We are using valuable time and resources to arrest hundreds of thousands people across the country for simply possessing marijuana. For many arrestees, their lives are ruined and they face decades in prison. Cannabis has legitimate medical effects and using our valuable resources to punish its use is detrimental to the state and the country.
In Colorado, legal marijuana has added $2.4 billion to the state’s economy and added 18,005 full-time jobs. As a state struggling with job growth, we should get behind this effort in Michigan.
Police Training & Community Policing
Our state’s police force is integral to keeping our cities and communities safe. But, when they are involved in violent incidents they need to be held accountable. Instances of brutality or abuse of power need to be investigated to the fullest extent.
Furthermore, to prevent violent incidents in the future, steps need to be taken to ensure that our police force is trained to de-escalate a situation as safely as possible. I will also look to provide local communities with the resources necessary to engage in effective community policing efforts.
The country is in the grip of an opioid and heroin addiction epidemic and we must devote resources to treatment and rehabilitation. Given that addicts are often the ones committing crimes, by focusing on their treatment and recovery, we can prevent the crimes they often commit. We must address addiction as a public-health issue and treat it appropriately. Explore my policies on public health.
The threat of terrorism is very real and we must do everything in our power to find creative ways to identify and apprehend anyone who would endanger the public. We must be as vigilant in pursuing home-grown threats from people who have become radicalized as we are with threats from foreign terrorist groups.