K. A SAFER COMMUNITY

The best way to prevent crime is to destroy the desperate conditions that breed crime. Criminals don't just happen; criminal behavior starts at an early age. By educating and supporting parents, there would be fewer abused children and fewer reckless and alienated teenagers. We must devise programs to control addictive behavior, the major cause of crimes committed against both persons and property. We must develop programs to both educate and job train youthful offenders and identified youths at risk, so that they become productive members of society. By building decent housing that fosters community life, the community itself could police its members.

Of course, there will be some crime even in the best of societies. Criminals will have to be caught, and some will have to be confined where they can do no further damage to society. Instead of a military approach to law enforcement with punishment as its goal, we must nurture rehabilitation wherever possible. Peace officers must be trained in conflict resolution. Developing binding mediation processes, rather than litigation in civil matters, would reduce the burden on the court system.

Greens do not condone drug abuse of any kind, whether illegal drugs or legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. We do believe that treating illegal drug users as ordinary criminals, wastes police time and taxpayers' money and encourages organized crime. The war on drugs has expanded to such excess that this war is now destroying our communities. We believe that we should emphasize drug education and treatment programs for abusers of legal and illegal drugs, rather than punishing them. Harsh prison sentences contribute to pressures to build new prisons and inflict long term damage to our brothers and sisters far beyond any possible benefit to the general community. We would:

  • Allow doctors to prescribe addictive drugs to addicts, in conjunction with drug treatment programs
  • Fund AIDS education and needle exchange programs
  • Repeal laws allowing property seizures in drug cases; such laws have led to numerous civil rights abuses
  • Ban alcohol and tobacco advertising