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Blog

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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The SAFE Justice Act would bring groundbreaking reforms enacted by conservative states to the federal government

Thursday was a huge day for anyone following the debate and movement on justice reform, the interest in which has grown substantially in recent days. Out of nowhere, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave his support for, perhaps, the most comprehensive justice reform bill proposed in the current Congress.

07/17/2015
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Cost-savings should be a priority in any Senate justice reform deal

Several Senate Judiciary Committee members are working on compromise legislation that would combine elements of a prison and reentry reform bill, the CORRECTIONS Act, and a sentencing reform bill, the Smarter Sentencing Act. The committee acted on prison and sentencing reforms, separately, in the last Congress, but neither proposal made it to the Senate floor for a vote.

07/07/2015
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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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Former federal law enforcement officials to Congress: Get big government out of the courtroom

With members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, under the watchful eye of Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), working on long overdue sentencing reforms, a group of 130 former federal prosecutors, judges, and other law enforcement officials sent a letter urging action on the Smarter Sentencing Act.

06/18/2015
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New report shows how Michigan can save millions through justice reform

In May, Gov. Rick Snyder rolled out his priorities to create a smart justice system in Michigan by proposing a series of reforms that have been successful in other states. Georgia and Texas, for instance, have seen significant savings through innovative justice reforms while crime and repeat offender rates dropped.

06/18/2015
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Here are three conservative bills the House Judiciary Committee's justice reform initiative should consider

The House Judiciary Committee announced the formation of a criminal justice reform initiative that will examine various pieces of legislation that would address issues including over-criminalization, sentencing reform, and prison reform.

06/11/2015

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