“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.”
“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.”
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.
Right on Crime congratulates Governor Rick Perry
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
Marc Levin: “Certainly, hold [juvenile offenders] accountable. But in the right place and under the right circumstances — and that is not adult prison.”
In this Houston Chronicle article, ROC policy analyst Derek Cohen explains why it makes sense for conservatives to support smart criminal justice reform.
The SFGate on Governor Perry getting more “California-ized” as he discusses ‘right on crime’ policies.
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.”