Marc Levin: Remember and empower victims of crime

While crime has been declining for two decades, 1 in 14 Americans experienced a property crime and 1 in 40 a violent crime during 2012. To pay tribute to victims and survivors, the federal government has designated April 6 to 12, 2014 as National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

This is a time to turn our attention to the true consumers of the corrections system – those who have been personally wronged by an offender. Too often, rather than focusing on empowering victims and ensuring they receive restitution, the process emphasizes an offender’s “debt to society,” often in the form of fines and fees that go into the government’s coffers. This fixation on the prerogatives of the government has too often marginalized the rights and voices of victims.

Click here to read more.

“Reagan had it right: We must not forget America’s crime victims”

In celebration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, ROC signatory and Director of the American Conservative Union’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform Pat Nolan, along with national crime victim advocate Anne Seymour, authored “Reagan had it right: We must not forget America’s crime victims” for Fox News.

“At Right on Crime, we strongly believe that crime victims and those who serve them are important partners in any efforts to improve our nation’s systems of justice – federal, criminal, juvenile, tribal and civil justice – and the fair treatment of victims of crime.”

Click here to read more.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

April 6-12 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Crime victims and survivors have an integral role in America’s criminal justice system and efforts to promote individual and public safety.  The overall effectiveness of the criminal justice system relies significantly on victims’ willingness and ability to participate in justice processes. Right on Crime created the below infographic to illustrate how and why our criminal justice system should prioritize victims.

Click here to enlarge the infographic.

Marc Levin, Right on Crime, featured in Texas Monthly

Courtesy of Texas Monthly

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.”

Click here to read the whole interview.

The New York Times: “America on Probation”

“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.

Click here to read the article.

Rollins: Criminal justice reform — Texas style

“October is Crime Prevention Month, and I am reminded that not long ago people spoke of the “Texas Model” as a purely punitive approach to criminal justice. Decades of steady prison growth consumed an ever-increasing percentage of the general budget. Even with the nation’s highest incarceration rate, Texas’ cities and towns were still plagued with violence and property crime. We were getting a very poor return on our investment in criminal justice and corrections.”

Click here to read the full article by Brooke Rollins.

Fox News: “Conservatives join push to roll back mandatory prison sentences”

Following Marc Levin’s testimony before the U.S. Judiciary Committee, this Fox News story features Right on Crime, noting that “The project has since been part of recent, successful efforts in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina to reform their systems through such changes as reducing penalties for low-level drug possessions; expanding the use of time- and cost-efficient drug courts; using money once earmarked for prisons to improve law-enforcement strategies and expanding community-based programs for offenders, including treatment.”

Read the full article here.

Vikrant P. Reddy interviewed by Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis

Vikrant Reddy joined The Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis today to talk about conservative ideas for criminal justice reform. They spoke about Senator Rand Paul’s speech to Howard University yesterday, as well as our broader Right on Crime issue set.  LISTEN NOW!

Also, here is a blog post up at the DC where Lewis describes the interview and podcast.

West Virginia Senate Passes Criminal Justice Reform Bill

A few days ago, the West Virginia State Senate passed criminal justice reform bill SB371 by an overwhelming vote of 33-0. It’s unusual for any legislative body to pass a bill with zero “No” votes, but that’s exactly what happened on Thursday. The legislation, which would help West Virginia achieve the goals of ensuring public safety while reducing costs, now heads over to the West Virginia House of Delegates.

The Charleston Gazette has the story on its website here.

Conservative criminal justice reform is making its way around the country, with states finding out that as prison costs rise, they need to find cost effective ways to reverse this trend. Other states, including Oregon, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania and South Dakota have either passed or are considering passing legislation that would reduce costs, enhance public safety and prioritize victims in the criminal justice system.

This is an issue that conservatives should monitor closely. As some commentators have noted recently, conservatives can benefit by offering urban policy solutions that make a big impact on people’s lives. Criminal justice reform, along with education, transportation and other urban issues, are key problems that conservatives must address if we are to expand our camp and bring in new people. This is why what happened in West Virginia on Thursday is so important.

Right on Crime minute video: Victim Conferencing

Thanks to Will Franklin for putting together our latest Right on Crime minute video.

This video shows the power of victim conferencing to restore victims, reduce recidivism and ensure that restitution is paid. Check out the video by clicking here:  RightOnCrimeVictimsConferencing