economic and employment problems in the State have a
direct impact on crime. As our economy suffers, more
and more of our population is being left behind. As
people lose hope that the economic climate will benefit
them, they become more dependent on negative pursuits.
Theft of cell phones and other electronic devices has
skyrocketed. People in neighborhoods in our district
that were always regarded as safe, have been robbed
at gunpoint in front of their houses.
need to start by providing alternatives to criminal
activity, both by creating more opportunities to advance
economically, and by providing our youth with activities
to occupy their time. Investments in recreation centers
and after-school activities can pay off in lower costs
for our legal system.
need to re-prioritize our legal system, so that violent
criminals and repeat offenders stay in prison longer,
and nonviolent, first-time offenders pay greater monetary
penalties and face stricter community service requirements.
To do this, we should not decriminalize activities that
we are trying to discourage, but we can create mandatory
sentencing guidelines that give probation to these individuals,
along with mandatory fines, community service or labor.