New AG Leevin Camacho swears in - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

New AG Leevin Camacho swears in

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Taking the oath of office in the island's capital at the Judiciary of Guam was Attorney General-elect Leevin Camacho. The 40-year-old is the successor of outgoing AG Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson.

"I am humbled in the trust you have placed in this boy from Yigo," Camacho shared. "I'm grateful for this moment and for this opportunity. And I am ready."

Ready to get to work and ready to listen, Camacho previewed his priorities in his inaugural address Monday afternoon. Though public safety officials have reported crime is on a downward trend, constituents on the campaign trail felt differently.

The budget also shows $26 million is spent annually to house prisoners.

"I must admit that I'm a big believer of using data as a tool, but hearing people over the course of the campaign share their stories demonstrated that data will never be able to fully capture the issues facing our community," he said. "There is no substitute for meeting with and listening to people."

"It's hard to argue that the system is working when two out of every prisoner released is likely to re-offend," Camachos said. "And just as important, our current practices are not making our communities any safer. Families are afraid to go out for dinner or a movie. Parents are afraid when they drop their kids to school. Many people do not feel secure in their homes or doing routine things."

Part of the problem-drugs.

"We know that Guam has a drug problem," he said. "Over 200 cases are filed in this building every year, which does not include people committing crimes to support their drug habit. One-third approximately of our prison population is being held for non-violent, drug-related offenses. That represents a lot of families torn apart by drugs. During the campaign, I met many people who recognized their loved ones need help, but not if it meant putting them in jail."

Camacho, nonetheless, is optimistic. He said he's excited for partnerships focused on rehabilitation, treatment, and re-entry programs.

"I genuinely believe that things can change and the role of the office of the attorney general must play in creating a fair and just Guam," he said. "A fair and just Guam means anyone who commits violent crimes will feel the full consequence of their actions. It means that criminals who prey on our children and our man'amko will receive swift and certain punishment. It means that government officials who violate the public's trust will be held accountable. Punishment is a critical part of the criminal justice system, but so is healing."

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