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Blog

Economically Free States Are the Most Successful

The benefit of America’s federalist system, in which the states are largely free to set their own laws and regulations, is that these “laboratories of democracy” allow us to see what works and what doesn’t in terms of economic success. While there are numerous pitfalls in examining economic statistics, due to the wide variety of variables involved, you can learn a lot by seeing where people choose to live. People generally flock to locations where they can get a good job, raise their children as they please, and afford a decent standard of living, all things that directly relate to economic freedom.

3 days ago
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Fair Chances: How Lawmakers Can Disrupt the Cycle of Crime and Poverty

Much of the efforts to reform the justice system have been concentrated on front-end sentencing and back-end reentry reform. When it comes to sentencing reform, the idea is that a punishment should fit the crime. Rather than lengthy sentences mandated by big government politicians that ostensibly warehouse low-level, nonviolent offenders, judges should have the option to more appropriate sentences, including diversion programs. For offenders already in the prison system, rehabilitative programming -- such as work training and education -- would provide them with the means to learn skills so they can live productive, honest lives after they return to society.

09/22/2015
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Federalism in Action: How Conservative States Got Smart on Crime

Justice reform has become a hot topic on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress from both parties are pushing for substantive reforms that would bring rehabilitative programs to the federal corrections system, modify out-of-date sentencing laws, make communities safer, and reduce burdens on taxpayers. But reform would not be possible if conservative states had not previously paved the road.

08/24/2015
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Justice reform can happen this year, and grassroots conservatives should lead the charge

Over the past several weeks, President Barack Obama has increasingly spoke of the need to reform the United States' justice system. In mid-July, for example, he spoke at the NAACP's annual convention in Philadelphia and called for reform of costly and unjust mandatory minimum sentences and, later, appeared at a federal prison in Oklahoma to further emphasize the need to overhaul the justice system to lower repeat offender rates.

07/30/2015
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Conservative states focused on reducing repeat offender rates to disrupt the cycle of crime and save taxpayers money

It is easy to look at the decline in violent crime rates and believe that lengthy prison sentences mandated by Congress were the catalyst. Unfortunately, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley recently made this utterly misleading argument. But as the Brennan Center for Justice explained in a February 2015 study, crime rates fell because of "various social, economic, and environmental factors, such as growth in income and an aging population." Lengthy sentences that contributed to the sharp rise of prison populations had very little to do with it.

07/27/2015
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Conservatives have proven that justice reform lowers crime rates and keeps communities safe

Last week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave his support to the SAFE Justice Act, a comprehensive bill that would make a number of significant and substantive changes to federal sentencing and prison policies that have contributed the boom in federal corrections spending. Boehner's support is the most recent and, perhaps, most notable example of the growing consensus on Capitol Hill for justice reform.

07/23/2015
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Savings from prison reforms in Texas top $3 billion, crimes rates hit lowest point since 1968

"By being more intelligent about who you send to prison, being more selective in that, and putting resources into drug treatment, mental health treatment, and things that keep people out of prison, you can lower your costs and make the streets safer," Pat Nolan, Director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform, told FreedomWorks of the groundbreaking justice reforms implemented in Texas in a recent video. The reforms, dubbed the "Texas model," have become a blueprint for other, mostly Republican, states to cut prison costs and reprioritize spending or reduce the burden of taxpayers.

07/06/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Rick Perry’s Record of Success in Texas Could Aid Justice Reform Efforts in Washington

Rick Perry’s entrance into the race for the Republican presidential nomination could continue to push the justice-reform debate further into national politics as candidates from both parties try to stake their claims on these vital issues.

06/22/2015
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Texas continues to pass meaningful justice reforms that will ease cost burdens on taxpayers

Doug Deason is a successful businessman from Dallas, Texas, whose life could have turned out much differently. When he was 17, Deason, who was raised in a wealthy family, and his friends raided a liquor cabinet at a neighbor's home. He was arrested, plead to a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge, and sentenced to probation.

05/26/2015
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Texas Republican legislator introduces bill to ban civil asset forfeiture

Texas has been a national leader on justice reform, passing and implementing landmark programs that have led to significant cost-savings for taxpayers, lower crime, and decreased repeat offender rates. Though the Lone Star State has proven that justice reform works, which is why some lawmakers in Congress are trying to replicate these efforts, it has lagged on another related aspect: civil asset forfeiture reform.

03/30/2015

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