As a senator, public safety is at the top of my mind. But we have seen time and again that youth incarceration does not improve public safety. In fact, it is a failed experiment. To really make communities safer, we should invest in them, not in jails, prisons and residential centers. For every youth we incarcerate, we are divesting a community's most vital assets. Our youth, even those in conflict with the law, need our help, not our abandonment. I believe we can better achieve our public safety goals — and have a greater impact — if we support youth and families in need rather than separating them. When we invest more in supporting youth and families in their homes and communities than we do on incarceration, youth and families can go from being recipients of services to contributors to their communities.