“The Pelican Institute points out that Louisiana is out of step, even with conservative states like Texas and Georgia, which have moved away from prison terms for nonviolent offenders to emphasize rehabilitation.
Why does Mississippi need HB585? Mississippi’s prison population has grown by 17 percent in the last decade, topping 22,600 inmates last year. The state now has the second-highest imprisonment rate in the country, trailing only Louisiana. Without action, these trends will continue and Mississippi prisons will need to house 1,990 more inmates by 2024 – costing taxpayers an additional $266 million.
What will HB 585 do for Mississippi’s criminal justice system? HB 585 will enact “true minimums” to guarantee that nonviolent and violent offenders are never released prior to serving 25 and 50 percent of their sentences, respectively.
A survey by Pew Research Center shows that the public is skeptical of sending non-violent drug offenders to prison — and finds that the majority prefer offenders be treated by way of rehabilitative programs. Marc Levin sits down with NPR News to discuss the issue.
Texas Monthly’s Nate Blakeslee highlights Marc Levin and Right on Crime in his article “Why Fewer Prisons Are Good for Texas’s Economy.”
“Levin’s chief message, that incarcerating too many people for too long for nonviolent crimes isn’t a good use of taxpayer funds, has resonated with conservative voters and legislators. He advocates more effective and less costly measures, such as drug courts, which divert low-level drug offenders to treatment programs instead of prison, and more effective use of probation.”
Adam Gelb, Director of Public Safety Performance Project at Pew Charitable Trusts, The Honorable Bill Hammond, President and CEO of Texas Association of Business, and Representatives Abel Hererro and Tan Parker of the Texas House of Representatives discuss adult corrections in the Lone Star State.
Following his testimony before California’s Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, Chuck DeVore sat down with KOGO’s LaDona Harvey out of San Digeo to reiterate the prison reform successes of Texas and tell why he believes The Golden State would benefit from following in the footsteps of Right On Crime.
During this week’s edition of The Texas Tribune‘s political podcast ‘TribCast,’ ROC policy director Marc Levin’s research regarding cost of incarceration vs. rehabilitation is discussed as the contributors talk about Governor Perry’s marijuana decriminalization remarks.
In the Lone Star State, the effort [to reform the criminal justice system] has conservative roots. Budget-minded state leaders crafted an alternative to perpetually feeding money into prison construction to warehouse non-violent offenders, rather than investing in drug treatment or better parole programs.
In response to Governor Perry’s remarks concerning the decriminalization of marijuana, this article by Texas Monthly credits Right On Crime’s reform policies with helping to reduce Texas’ incarceration rates.
“Texas’s recent reforms on drug policy are summarized at the Right on Crime initiative, which began here, at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and has since spread to a number of other states.
Jailing people for nonviolent drug crimes is expensive, if nothing else, and historically Texas has had woefully high incarceration rates, which have required a disproportionate share of the state’s general spending. Texas still has the biggest prison population in the country, but during Perry’s time as governor, and partly as a result of these reforms, the state’s incarceration rate has dropped…”
“Restoring common sense to sentencing is the obvious first step in downsizing prisons.”
In his latest op-ed, Bill Keller of The New York Times, writes about the issue of mass incarceration in the U.S. and what our nation can do to reverse this trend.
The ROC statement of principles is also cited in the article as Mr. Keller discusses this bipartisan movement.