ROC success in Alaska!

Alaska legislators have passed a sweeping corrections bill that will increase public safety, slow prison growth and cut costs. The bill establishes a 24/7 Sobriety Program, which requires certain offenders to submit to twice-a-day alcohol or drug testing, provides stricter penalties for attempted abduction, and increases the threshold for felony theft from $500 to $750.

More information can be found here and here.

 

“Conservative Group Continues Push for Criminal Justice Reform”

“Right on Crime aims at reform on both the federal and state levels. The underlying idea is to use prisons for people who would harm society, not for non-violent offenders causing no injury to body or property.”

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Louisiana looks to Texas to get right on crime

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.

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The Daily Caller: Koch brothers unite right and left, sponsor panel on prison reform

“The Texas Public Policy Foundation created a new organization of conservative leaders to boost these state efforts. Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush, Bill Bennett, Ed Meese, and Grover Norquist are just some of the prominent conservatives who have endorsed the Right on Crime platform.”

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“Prison Reform is Bigger in Texas”

ROC signatories Jerry Madden, Grover Norquist and Newt Gingrich sit down with The Daily Beast to discuss the origins of the criminal justice reform movement in Texas.

“Traditionally, the politics [of prison reform] were that conservatives said ‘tough on crime’ and ‘the longer you put people in prison, the better,’” Norquist told me. “Over time, the cost of prisons, the cost of the judicial system, the length of some of the mandatory minimums that were being thrown out, got to be such that conservatives started saying ‘Wait a minute, if we’re trying to reduce crime, are we doing this in the most cost-effective way? Are there better ways to approach this?’” Click here to read more.

This article also appeared in Yahoo! News.

Mississippi HB 585: Recommendations of the Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force

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.

Click here to read the full version of “HB 585: Recommendations of the Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force.”

Governor Phil Bryant: Mississippi Legislature Votes to Adopt “Right on Crime” Criminal Justice Reform Measures

The following statement was released by Governor Phil Bryant regarding Mississippi’s package of criminal justice reforms.

JACKSON—House Bill 585, Mississippi’s package of criminal justice reform measures, has passed the Mississippi House and Mississippi Senate and should soon come to Gov. Phil Bryant for review. The reforms were developed over several months as the result of a bipartisan task force effort that included consultation with the Public Safety Performance Project of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“We pledged to Mississippians that we would make this the ‘public safety session’, and we have worked hard to develop a research-based plan that is tough on crime while using tax dollars wisely where they make the most impact,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “This bill ensures that violent criminals are held accountable for their crimes, and it provides a second chance to veterans and other Mississippians who have made mistakes want to take steps to get their lives back on track.

“I appreciate the hard work of Rep. Andy Gibson, Sen. Brice Wiggins, the leadership in the House and Senate, the members of the criminal justice task force and the PEW Charitable Trusts in researching this issue and helping move these reforms through the legislative process. I look forward to receiving the bill and reviewing it closely.”

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Right on Crime congratulates Governor Rick Perry

Right on Crime congratulates Governor Rick Perry
Perry receives Governor of the Year Award for his support of drug-court programs

Austin, TX — Governor Rick Perry was today presented the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Governor of the Year Award. This year marks the 25th anniversary of drug courts — treatment programs that help rehabilitate non-violent drug offenders as an alternative to incarceration — and Governor Perry is the first recipient of this prestigious award. Under Governor Perry’s leadership, Texas has saved an estimated $3 billion in prison spending, and is now home to 136 drug courts.

“We heartily congratulate Governor Perry for his well-deserved award as Governor of the Year from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals,” said Marc Levin, Director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice and Right on Crime. “We have been privileged to work with the Governor and other Texas policymakers over the last several years to expand drug courts in Texas. It is clear that these drug courts are working to combat substance abuse and crime.”

“The diversion of appropriate offenders to drug courts has contributed to savings of $3 billion dollars, as Texas has closed three prisons instead of building the 17,000 new beds that in 2007 were projected to be needed by 2012,” added Levin. “Most important, Texas has its lowest crime rate since 1968. We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Perry and other Texas policymakers to build on this success, and we are confident this award will only add to the momentum for taking the next steps to improve Texas’ criminal justice system.”

More information about Governor Perry receiving the National Award for Criminal Justice Reform can be found here: http://t.co/NBkKBoNZFm


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.”

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ROC signatory Jerry Madden led the way in developing TX justice reinvestment strategy

Right on Crime signatory Jerry Madden is credited by the Houston Chronicle as being a pioneer for early Texas criminal justice reforms.