ALBUQUERQUE — Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor of New Mexico, is calling for a sustained focus on breaking the cycle of crime throughout the state by providing reformed parolees with jobs, housing, and life skills as well as connecting employers with qualified candidates across the state.
Pearce today addressed the enrollees, graduates, and staff of Under His Construction, a non-profit organization in Albuquerque, which has demonstrated a record of success in graduating dozens of reformed parolees, and led them to successful employment and productive lives.
"Too many of New Mexico's communities are plagued with crime, joblessness, and a loss of hope. Far too many of our young people are turning to drugs and illegal activity. When those mistakes lead them to jail they too often begin a journey into a life of crime, a cycle that destroys individuals, families, and communities.
"I have met with our judges, police, teachers, and parole officers all over our state. They have told me they know many of these offenders can be saved from the cycle of reoffending. As Governor, I will direct state agencies to bring together all of the resources of government to work closely with civic and faith based organizations to give parolees a better way forward with housing, work skills, and good jobs to break the cycle of crime.
"Today, I am proposing a new initiative called HOPE to bring down rate of recidivism and make New Mexico safer," said Steve Pearce.
- Too often recidivism in first time criminal offenders is connected to a lack of opportunity or hope for a better path
- The New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD), through the Probation and Parole Division, can work with outside groups to reduce recidivism and increase housing and job opportunities
- NMCD already has in place Project SOAR to provide educational opportunities to individuals while incarcerated
- The office of recidivism reduction within PPD works to support individuals once released from a correctional institution
HOPE fills in and expands a badly needed missing link
- NMCD actions help, but need to do more to connect reformed individuals with real, tangible jobs
- HOPE makes these connections – providing reformed offenders with housing and jobs
- Working statewide, Governor Pearce will expand the network of employers who have vacant positions that can be filled immediately by reformed offenders
o HOPE's network will do more to take individuals to jobs and give them the tools to succeed
o HOPE will connect them to serious opportunities for work
- By creating a statewide network, we can provide greater ability to connect reformed offenders with a career field they can succeed in, even if not in their immediate community
- Providing stable housing and employment opportunities will not only help thousands find a more stable and productive path, it will reduce crime at a time when New Mexico must do everything it can to make communities more stable and secure
- Reducing recidivism is a key component to reducing crime and beginning to put New Mexico on a better path