Taxpayers know that public safety is the core function of government, and they are willing to pay what it takes to keep communities safe. In return for their tax dollars, citizens are entitled to a system that works. When governments spend money inefficiently and do not obtain crime reductions commensurate with the amount of money being spent, they do taxpayers a grave disservice. Conservatives know that it is possible to cut both crime rates and costly incarceration rates because over the past ten years, seven states have done it: Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
At a time of tight budgets in state capitols and households alike, it is time for innovative policy approaches that maximize the public safety return on our investment of taxpayers’ dollars.