Public safety policies, as any government service, should be evaluated on whether they produce the best possible results at the lowest possible cost. In contradiction to that principle, until recently the criminal justice system had expanded to become the second-fastest growing area of state budgets—trailing only Medicaid.
We demand cost-effective approaches that also enhance public safety. We want a prison system that incapacitates dangerous offenders and career criminals but which is not used in such a way that makes nonviolent, low-risk offenders a greater risk to the public upon release than before they entered.
“A well-functioning criminal justice system enforces order and respect for every person’s right to property and life, and ensures that liberty does not lead to license.”