ROC signatory Newt Gingrich shares his outrage of America’s failing prison system.
Check out this great op-ed by Newt Gingrich and Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Kelly McCutchen in today’s Marietta, GA newspaper. It’s about how Georgia can make some major reforms in their juvenile justice system. We expect a vote on proposed legislation this week. Here is an excerpt from the piece in the Marietta Daily Journal.
Now Georgia has the opportunity to apply those same conservative convictions to its juvenile justice system by adopting the recommendations of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform. After months of research, the bipartisan council has produced a set of proposals that will stop wasteful government spending and help more of Georgia’s young offenders fulfill their promise to lead productive, law-abiding lives.
This week, Right on Crime signatories Newt Gingrich and B. Wayne Hughes published an important piece in the LA Times entitled, “What California can learn from the red states on crime and punishment.” In it, they make the case for California’s Proposition 47, the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative that’s slated for a vote on November 4.
Gingrich and Hughes describe the problem:
Over-incarceration makes no fiscal sense. California spends $62,396 per prisoner each year, and $10 billion overall, on its corrections system. That is larger than the entire state budget of 12 other states. This expenditure might be worth it if we were safer because of it. But with so many offenders returning to prison, we clearly aren’t getting as much public safety — or rehabilitation — as we should for this large expenditure.
Proposition 47 on the November ballot will do this by changing six nonviolent, petty offenses from felony punishments (which now can carry prison time) to misdemeanor punishments and local accountability.
The measure is projected to save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars per year, and it will help the state emphasize punishments such as community supervision and treatment that are more likely to work instead of prison time.
At the 2014 RedState Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas, Right on Crime Senior Policy Analyst Vikrant Reddy spoke with Former Texas House Corrections Chairman Jerry Madden about his involvement in criminal justice reform in Texas and about his subsequent national work with the Right on Crime campaign.
For Immediate Release: Austin, TX — Right on Crime today announced the addition of former Governor Luis Fortuño, a former Member of Congress, to its growing list of prominent conservatives committed to public safety and cost-effective criminal justice reform as outlined in the Right on Crime Statement of Principles.
Right on Crime is a national campaign of the Texas Public Policy Foundation in partnership with the American Conservative Union Foundation and Justice Fellowship. It supports fighting crime, prioritizing victims, and protecting taxpayers from excessive and often counterproductive spending on prisons.
The movement to reform underperforming and wasteful criminal justice programs had its origins in Texas in 2005; its success has been duplicated and continues to serve as a model for effective policies around the country. In recent years, states like Texas, Mississippi, South Dakota and Georgia have led the way in implementing correctional reforms that save tax dollars and more effectively promote public safety.
“I fully subscribe to Right on Crime’s Statement of Principles,” Gov. Fortuño said. “Ensuring the safety of America’s citizens does not mean government needs to break the bank. I look forward to working with Right on Crime, and their efforts to promote effective, conservative reforms to the criminal justice system.”
Governor Fortuño joins 60 prominent conservative leaders who have endorsed the principles of conservative criminal justice reform, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, former New Mexico Attorney General Hal Stratton and former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, former Florida Attorney General Richard Doran, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, and ConservativeHQ.com Chairman Richard Viguerie. The most recent new Right on Crime signatories are former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich and former Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley.
“We are pleased to have Gov. Fortuño join our cause. We look forward to his ideas to making criminal justice reforms effective and fiscally responsible,” said Chuck DeVore, Vice President of Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Luis Fortuño represented Puerto Rico in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005-2009, during which he chaired the Congressional Hispanic Conference. He served as the tenth governor of Puerto Rico, from 2009-2013. He is a partner with the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Right on Crime spokespersons, please contact Kevin McVicker at (703) 739-5920 or [email protected].
ROC signatories Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan co-authored an article for The Wall Street Journal in which they call on Congress to reform the federal prison system. The op-ed, titled “An Opening for Bipartisanship on Prison Reform,” states that “half of all federal inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses, not violent crimes,” and recommends that the government look to ‘right on crime’ states for sensible and proven reforms.
ROC policy director Marc Levin authored a letter to the editor of the Charleson Gazette congratulating West Virginia policymakers for implementing cost-effective juvenile justice reforms that will also increase public safety.
Congratulations to leaders in West Virginia for kicking off a data-driven process to examine the costs and outcomes of their juvenile justice system. Across the country, conservatives are supporting policymakers who endeavor to take a hard look at corrections policy to address wasteful spending and improve results in public safety.
This conservative lens is especially vital when approaching juvenile justice policy. It is not only about being the best stewards of taxpayer dollars, but also about keeping families together. That’s why national conservatives, such as Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist, have joined the Right on Crime movement to support states looking to maximize system efficiency, and keep youth accountable.
Years of research informs the best way to achieve less juvenile crime with fewer taxpayer dollars, but only West Virginia leaders and policy makers can review the data and come up with a solution that works for their state. We applaud the leaders for committing to this process that is proven to both get youth back on track and provide relief to taxpayers.
Policy Director, Right on Crime
FORMER STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL COMMIT TO COST-EFFECTIVE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Right on Crime Adds New Signatories
Austin, TX —Right on Crime today announced the addition of conservative leaders who have signed its Statement of Principles. These prominent individuals have expressed their commitment to public safety and cost-effective criminal justice reforms.
The new signatories are:
• Ken Cuccinelli, former Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia;
• Jim Petro, former Attorney General and State Auditor of the State of Ohio;
• Connor Boyack, President, Libertas Institute;
• Stephen Moore, chief economist for the Heritage Foundation and founder of the Club for Growth;
• Alfred S. Regnery, Board Member, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
“For far too long, the only answer to decreasing crime was to put more people in prison. We built prisons at rates we didn’t need and couldn’t afford, especially for non-violent offenders. Now, we know there are alternatives that cost less and work better. I am proud to sign on with the Right on Crime initiative to help fix this problem by making cost effective, data driven public safety decisions that reduce recidivism rates,” said Mr. Cuccinelli.
“Every advocate of limited government must face the facts: the criminal justice system presents one of the greatest and most compelling needs for reform. Because the government has been empowered to violate liberty when an individual commits a crime, it’s imperative that this power be appropriately restrained and only used when absolutely necessary. The status quo has far exceeded this guiding principle — we’ve got work to do,” said Mr. Boyack.
These new signatories join more than 60 prominent conservative leaders who have endorsed the principles of conservative criminal justice reform, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, former New Mexico Attorney General Hal Stratton and former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts.