Lawmakers begin work to improve criminal justice system | KOB 4
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Lawmakers begin work to improve criminal justice system

Ryan Laughlin
July 29, 2019 06:18 PM

SANTA FE, N.M.- A bipartisan group began work Monday on reforming the criminal justice system in New Mexico.

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The group's goal is to improve public safety.

"We think we can lower cost and lower recidivism which increases public safety,” said Rep. Moe Maestas who co-chairs the subcommittee.

The group will hear from experts and policy analysts from around the country to try and tweak everything from sentencing guidelines, statute of limitations for certain crimes and to provide better resources for people exiting New Mexican prisons.

"I think that we can lower the prison population while increasing the violent prisoners in prison,” Maestas said.

Part of the problem is a costly growing prison population hasn’t reduced crime. In fact, recidivism rates topped 50 percent for the first time in a decade, according to a 2018 legislative report. Legislators said if they can cut down the recidivism rate, it will make communities safer.

"Essentially, we can lower the crime rate overall and benefit our communities that way,” Maestas said.

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Ryan Laughlin

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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