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

“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.

North Carolina’s “Raise the Age” bill

The bipartisan bill to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction passed the N.C. House and will now move on to the Senate. The legislation aims to raise the age of youth jurisdiction so that 16- and 17-year olds who allegedly commit misdemeanors are handled in the juvenile system. Sixteen and 17-year-olds accused of felonies will remain in the adult system.

Craig DeRoche, president of Justice Fellowship and ROC signatory, said they “have seen this policy in other states lead to both fiscal savings and the restoration of children’s lives.”

Click here to read more from The Triangle Tribune, News Observer, and The Charlotte Post.

Marc Levin on “Capital Tonight”

ROC Policy Director Marc Levin appeared on “Capital Tonight” to talk about North Carolina’s Raise the Age bill.

Levin: “Give Youths Sentenced As Adults A Second Look Later”

In Connecticut you must be 18 to vote, serve on a jury or enter into a contract.

The law recognizes that adolescents are less equipped to make important decisions than adults are. Yet in one area, state law fails to distinguish between children and adults. Connecticut sentences people to spend the rest of their lives in prison for crimes they committed before their 18th birthdays. Kids who break the law must be held accountable, but we cannot give up on the possibility that a still developing young person will reform. Justice and financial responsibility both demand a more thoughtful approach.

Click here to read more from The Courant.

Levin, Arlinghaus: A dose of commonsense in criminal justice

The Legislature is considering whether 17-year-olds should always be tried as adult or whether the system should have some discretion. It is reasonable and common-sense reform to adopt a system, like 40 other states, that allows 17-year-olds to be tried as adults if warranted but does not require it. The proposal, House Bill 1624, is a policy that makes good sense but is also of huge financial benefit.

Click here to read more.

The Washington Post: “Study looks at kids who do time for offenses that aren’t crimes”

The Washington Post discusses Texas Public Policy Foundation’s newly released report “Kids Doing Time for What’s Not a Crime: The Over-Incarceration of Status Offenders,” saying “we need resist the impulse to address every societal problem with the criminal justice system. It’s a blunt instrument, and especially with kids, applying it inappropriately causes a lot more harm than good.”

Click here to read more.

Marc Levin: Why Are We Jailing Youth For Non-Violent Offenses?

ROC policy director Marc Levin writes in Talking Points Memo:

If you miss one too many days of work or stay out for the night when you said you’d be home, you might find yourself in hot water, but chances are you won’t wind up in trouble with the law, or worse, in jail.

While this is true for adults, it’s a different reality for kids who break curfew, show up to school late one too many times, or commit other non-violent status offenses – actions that wouldn’t be a crime if they were carried out by an adult.

Click here to read more.

Austin American-Statesman: “Keep 17-year-olds in juvenile system”

Marc Levin: “Certainly, hold [juvenile offenders] accountable. But in the right place and under the right circumstances — and that is not adult prison.”

Click here to read more.

David Keene: “Overhaul justice for juveniles”

“As a conservative who puts family first, I am encouraged to see that states are reforming their juvenile justice systems to produce better results for victims, offenders and taxpayers.”

Click here to read more from ROC signatory David Keene as he discusses juvenile justice in his op-ed for The News-Enterprise.