There is a new conservative prison reform movement in America. It is working to remove or lesson mandatory minimum sentences, and to increase releases of non-violent criminals, and to reverse prison policies many of which were previously passed into law by conservatives.
“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.”
In this National Review article, Texas is recognized as “a state with an enlightened leadership that keenly appreciates the fact that anti-crime measures adopted during the epidemic decades from the late 1960s to the early 1990s have in some part outlived their usefulness.”
Following Marc Levin’s U.S. Judiciary Committee testimony concerning mandatory minimums, he told Kevin Williamson at National Review: “A few decades ago, most federal offenders were white-collar criminals or international drug kingpins, but now there are a lot of small-fry offenders convicted of possession, dealing to their families, things like that. They need to be held accountable, but in a way that is commensurate. The stars are aligning for some success at the federal level, which in the past has been elusive.”
In an op-ed published in today’s Statesman Journal, Right on Crime signatory and NRA president David Keene urges conservatives to examine whether taxpayers are getting the most from the money spent on public safety. He highlights state data that shows Oregon’s criminal justice system is not passing this cost-benefit test.
While Oregon has been a leader in effective corrections and sentencing policies, the state has started to veer off course over the last decade, with M11 and M57 driving a lot of the costly growth. State data shows the growing prison population will cost taxpayers $600 million in new spending over the coming decade.
Mr. Keene, a long-time opponent of mandatory minimums, calls on Oregon policymakers to turn the conservative lens of fiscal accountability and limited government on the state’s criminal justice system and support reforms that will spend public safety dollars more wisely.
Right on Crime works in many states to elevate the conservative voice for criminal justice reform, including Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas.
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.