In Illinois Legislature, A Culture Change On Criminal Sentencing

ROC policy analyst Derek Cohen discusses the changing climate of Illinois’ criminal justice system with NPR’s “Northern Public Radio.”

“Prison is for the people that need to be incapacitated while they receive rehabilitation or while they receive their punishment…It’s almost a case of: it took Nixon to go to China, (and) it took Texas to say this needs to stop right now.”

MacIver Institute’s Brett Healy: Evidence clearly backs cutting incarceration hold

Brett Healy, President of the MacIver Institute in Wisconsin, authored a letter to the editor of The Cap Times in response to Ken Cuccinelli and Deborah Daniels’ article “Less incarceration could lead to less crime.”

Dear Editor: Prison is unquestionably the proper place for violent and repeat offenders, and long sentences for such dangerous felons will always be worth their hefty cost.

But as Ken Cuccinelli and Deborah Daniels correctly argued in their recent piece, millions of lower level offenders can be effectively sanctioned in other ways — without compromising public safety.

Using research to guide their efforts, a growing list of states — from Texas and Georgia to Mississippi and South Dakota — have reformed their correctional and sentencing systems to expand the use of prison alternatives. Such reforms, adopted with overwhelming bipartisan support, are not only saving states money but also reducing recidivism, all while holding offenders accountable and keeping communities safe.

Those who question such a strategy should take note of this compelling fact, reported recently by the Pew Charitable Trusts: States that have cut their imprisonment rates have experienced a greater crime drop than those that increased incarceration.

It’s hard to quarrel with evidence like that.

Brett Healy

President, John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy


Marc Levin’s Charleston Gazette letter to the editor

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.

Editor:

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.

Marc Levin
Policy Director, Right on Crime
Austin, Texas

Marc Levin appears on YNN’s Capital Tonight

ROC policy director Marc Levin discusses ways we can reduce prison population with YNN’s Capital Tonight.

Cuccinelli, Daniels: “Less incarceration could lead to less crime”

In their co-authored article for Washington Post, Right on Crime signatories Ken Cuccinelli and Deborah Daniels discuss how less incarceration could lead to less crime, and an increase in public safety.

“As conservatives with backgrounds in law enforcement, we embraced the orthodoxy that more incarceration invariably meant less crime, no matter the offense or the danger posed by its perpetrator. But crime rates have been falling since the early 1990s, and a growing body of research combined with the compelling results of reforms in many states prove it is time to adjust our approach.”

Click here to read more.

Mike Klein: “What We’ve Got Here is Failure to Communicate”

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Anyone of a certain generation – yeah, that would be my generation – will recognize that famous line from “Cool Hand Luke,” the 1967 film about southern prison warden Strother Martin and his young prisoner Paul Newman. Eight little words strung together became one of the most famous lines ever spoken in American film history.

Click here to read more.

“Feds Authorize New Georgia Juvenile Justice Reform Dollars”

Federal juvenile justice officials have noticed Georgia’s aggressive reforms and must like what they see because Washington is offering to pony up hundreds of thousands of new dollars to help the state implement ongoing juvenile reforms. On Monday the U.S. Justice Department said it could make up to $600,000 available this year, with similar offers in Hawaii and Kentucky.

Click here to read more from Mike Klein of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

Ken Blackwell: “When Father’s Day cards go to jail”

Right on Crime signatory and senior fellow for family empowerment at the Family Research Council Ken Blackwell writes in USA Today: “Given the heavy toll incarcerating a parent takes on most kids, it makes sense to place lower-level offenders under mandatory supervision in the community, allowing them to remain connected to family, gainfully employed and available to nurture their children.”

Click here to read more.

Vikrant Reddy discusses drug policy reform on “All Sides with Ann Fisher”

“The war on drugs is still a good idea, but we have to change the battle tactics.”

Click here to listen to the interview.

Former State Attorneys General Commit to cost-effective criminal justice reform

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.