A Republican prosecutor in Jacksonville, Florida has cracked down on repeat offenders to reduce violent crime, and it's working.
While Democrat-led cities across the nation continue to experience rising crimes rates, a Republican prosecutor in Florida has found a way to reverse that trend.
By cracking down on repeat offenders and punishing violent criminals to the full extent of the law, State Attorney Melissa Nelson is making her city safer.
In 2017, Melissa Nelson became State Attorney for Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit with the a promise of reducing crime in the area, which includes the city of Jacksonville.
Since taking office, she has enacted a number of justice reforms. According to her office's website, these include the establishment of Florida's first "Conviction Integrity Review unit," which helps wrongfully convicted people get out of jail, and assembled the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee to reduce recidivism among youths.
The policies that have garnered the most attention, however, are those that take violent criminals off the streets. As FOX News reports, Nelson has worked to target known criminals in often creative ways, such as going after guns used in music videos and charging drug dealers when one of their buyers dies of an overdose.
Nelson has also given prosecutors the ability to obtain warrants without obtaining approval from supervisors, making it much easier for them to do their jobs.
According to data, the reforms are working.
"In 2021, Jacksonville’s murders were down 30 percent and overall shootings down 17 percent from the year prior," said David Chapman, a spokesperson for Nelson's office. "Given last year’s downturn, our numbers to date aren’t far off the mark and thankfully have not spiked like other cities."
According to Nelson, violent crime in 2022 remains "on par" with the previous year.
In 2020, Nelson was given the "Outstanding Local Prosecutor’s Office Award" by the US Department of Justice for her work.