In Texas, inmates sent to solitary spend an average of four years there, reported Marc Levin of the conservative criminal justice reform group Right on Crime. Texas, though, is at least reviewing its practices. That might be because isolating prisoners is expensive — costing something like twice as much as keeping them in the general prison population. Or it might be because releasing psychologically damaged people from prison can produce disastrous results.
In this article, Shane Bauer tells the story of how Marc Levin and Right on Crime have changed, and continue to change, the way America thinks about criminal justice.
“How is it ‘conservative’ to spend vast amounts of taxpayer money on a strategy without asking whether it is providing taxpayers with the best public safety return on their investment?” Levin asks. Rather than spend a fortune keeping low-risk offenders in prison, Levin proposed that the same money could be used for cheaper programs that would still keep violent criminals locked away and the public safe.
Democratic California Senator Loni Hancock praises Texas for its conservative criminal justice reforms.
“Texas is investing in alternatives to incarceration that are proving to be cheaper and more effective at keeping people out of prison. It is also doing a better job of rehabilitating people to keep them from reoffending and ending up back in prison.
Texas and California are two great states that often see the world differently. In this case, perhaps we have something to learn from Texas.”
Shannon Edmonds, Director of Governmental Relations at TDCAA, Paul Larkin, Senior Legal Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and Representatives Bryan Hughes and Jeff Leach of the Texas House of Representatives discuss the burden of overcriminalization during the panel “Getting Rid of Unnecessary Laws” at TPPF’s Policy Orientation 2014.
Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of the Texas Senate, The Honorable Steve Teske, Chief Judge of Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Ryan Turner, General Counsel and Director of Education at the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center, and Representative James White of the Texas House of Representatives serve as panelists for “Addressing Truancy: Keeping Kids In School and Off the Streets” at TPPF’s 2014 Policy Orientation.
Adam Gelb, Director of Public Safety Performance Project at Pew Charitable Trusts, The Honorable Bill Hammond, President and CEO of Texas Association of Business, and Representatives Abel Hererro and Tan Parker of the Texas House of Representatives discuss adult corrections in the Lone Star State.
From Reason.com: While the California system is bursting at its seams, Texas has closed three prisons. Both states have crime rates that are lower than they had been decades ago, but Texas’ rate is falling faster than national trends. Crime in California is edging up slightly and its prison population is growing. California pays twice what Texas pays per year to incarcerate an inmate.
Chuck DeVore shares how Texas reduced its incarceration rate while simultaneously reducing spending — and what California can learn from the Lone Star State.
Reverend Peterson hosts TPPF’s VP of Policy Chuck DeVore on his nationally syndicated radio “The Jesse Lee Peterson Show” to talk about prison reform.
This article by Human Events relays the importance of the bipartisan prison reform policies advocated by Right On Crime and Chuck DeVore during his testimony before California’s Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review.
“In spite of Texas’ well-deserved reputation as this tough-on-crime state, and some of us would like to think perhaps because of it, the lawmakers in Texas … have seen fit to begin to innovate in the area of criminal-justice reform,” said former California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. He is a Republican who now leads policy efforts for the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation, which promotes free-markets.