Andrew believes that after someone pays the penalty for their mistake, they should be given a second chance. Too often, our society perpetually punishes people for one mistake, and creates barriers to positive re-entry. Andrew supports the legalization of marijuana in order to generate new revenue to pay for teacher and instructional staff pay increases and to reduce the mass incarceration of people with low-level drug offenses.
One of Andrew’s first acts as Mayor was to usher in a new Ban the Box Policy to help former offenders find employment in the City, and he continued to fight for more programs focused on helping offenders and at-risk juveniles from falling deeper into the criminal justice system. Andrew believes that the best way to fight crime in any city is to ensure that every man or woman in a community has the chance to earn a good-paying job that allows them to support their family.
Andrew also launched Operation Safe Neighborhoods; a community collaborative focused on building stronger relationships between citizens and law enforcement, and better-applying resources in the City’s highest crime areas. Through increased investments in law enforcement, diversion and re-entry programs, and an expansion of human services in the highest crime areas of the City, Tallahassee is the safest it has been since 2013, including a 10%+ decrease in total crime.
As a City Commissioner, Andrew helped create the Palmer-Munroe Teen Center, equipped with the Community Connections Restorative Justice Program. This new center works with youth offenders to build non-violent communication skills within teens to help them adjust their life trajectory and make better choices. The program has resulted in a 90%+ success rate among recidivism rates for youth who complete the program.