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.
Senior Policy Analyst Vikrant Reddy sits down with KFYO’s “The Chad Hasty Show” to talk about Gov. Rick Perry’s remarks regarding the decriminalization of marijuana in Texas.
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.
The state of Alaska knows “It’s time to try something else” in regards to their criminal justice system and looks to ROC’s success in Texas as inspiration for reform.
Smart criminal justice reform works. 82% of graduates of Nebraska’s Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision program had jobs, and 91% were still crime-free a year later.
ROC signatory Grover Norquist co-authors this Reuters op-ed with Patrick Gleason, in which they further discuss how U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is late to the party regarding criminal justice reforms, noting that “it has been Republicans in the states who are leading the way.”
“Consider Texas, where the smart-on-crime policy reform movement began in 2003, when the state’s Republican legislators passed a law mandating that all non-dealer drug offenders convicted for possession of less than a gram be sentenced to probation instead of jail time.
Recognizing the success of smart-on-crime reforms in Texas, other states have now followed [Right on Crime's] lead.”
Marc Levin in The American Prospect: “[Too] often states send low-risk, nonviolent offenders to prison for a year or less, which often means any benefit of incapacitation is outweighed by the fact that these offenders are often more of a risk when they leave due to who they encountered behind bars and their ties to family, work, church, and community being severed.”