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February 25, 2017

"Conservative Criminal Justice Advocates Try To Change The System — Even In The Trump Era"

The title of this post is the title of this new BuzzFeed News piece which follows up with this subheadline: "Conservative groups pushing for changes to the criminal justice system flooded this year’s conservative confab known as CPAC hoping to convince more people on the right to embrace their cause." Here are excerpts:

Groups, like the American Conservative Union Foundation, an arm of the ACU, which hosts CPAC, hope to convince more people on the political right to embrace the cause as a conservative one by leveraging their recent successes at the state level and reminding lawmakers that it’s an issue with support from multiple conservative groups.

“I do feel that letting politicians know that we are large in numbers and we do support this, and we are present at all of these events, we’re not going to go away; it’s something that’s important and it’s […] a part of the conservative movement,” says Christina Delgado, a spokesperson for the conservative group FreedomWorks....

But some, especially members of the Republican conference in Congress, have expressed concerns over whether reforms — which aim to reduce mass incarceration, rising prison costs, and recidivism rates — represent a soft-on-crime approach to the criminal justice system that could jeopardize public safety. “You do have people that have a bit more of a reactionary tough-on-crime approach that have come up to the booth and talked to us about it,” says Derek Cohen, deputy director of Texas-based Right on Crime, which is also attending CPAC. “But once you start talking to them about, you know, the practicalities of running a criminal justice system, they actually get it very quickly.”...

Delgado says the issue came up in questions during a Thursday event hosted by FreedomWorks that featured Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who recently signed an order to try to help ex-offenders land jobs after their sentence is up.  Delgado says Bevin noted “it’s not about going softer on crime, it’s about just making sure that we’re addressing the more important aspects of crime, and that is the actual danger, the actual criminals, the actual problem.”

Cohen says different types of conservatives — social, fiscal, libertarian — “all have their own reasons for actually being interested in the reform campaign.”  For many libertarians, it’s issues such as civil asset forfeiture that make the case for criminal justice reform.  For fiscal conservatives, it’s about cutting rising corrections costs.”...

But even with progress happening in Republican-leaning states, it remains to be seen where exactly the new Trump administration will fall on specific federal criminal justice issues. Trump said he wanted to “bring back law and order” during the election campaign, but has not detailed what that will mean.

Though not all are convinced Trump will be swayed by the arguments for criminal justice reform — his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was a vocal opponent during his time in the Senate — pro-reform groups are hoping state successes appeal to Trump.  “As President Trump considers how best to reduce crime and restore public safety, we hope that he can learn from reform champions in states like Oklahoma, Louisiana and Kentucky to chart a new path for America,” Steve Hawkins, president of the Coalition for Public Safety — another CPAC attendee — said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

Cohen says Right on Crime, which has attended the last five CPACs, has met with members of Congress recently, and that “there seems to be renewed energy” in passing reform legislation.  Judiciary Committee members Sens. Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley have said they plan on re-introducing the bill in the current sessions of Congress.  “Now, what shape that reform’s going to be in, I think is a bit premature to say,” Cohen said, “but there definitely is the same appetite if not a greater one.”

Recent prior related post:

February 25, 2017 at 12:14 PM | Permalink


"State success"? A 3% decarceration resulted in a 15% increase in murders in 20 big cities, immediately.

Then there are millions if not hundreds of millions of crimes not being counted. I do not mean, people smoking dope in public. I mean, people taking $5000 from a hacked account.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 25, 2017 12:30:00 PM

From Wikipedia.



1331 H Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

A front organization for Lawyers, living in Babylon, gayer and more depraved than San Fran. Rent seeking, Washington mortal enemies of crime victims. Pray they walk one block in the wrong direction in Washington DC, and encounter one of the criminals they loosed on the public.


Posted by: David Behar | Feb 25, 2017 4:06:15 PM

Prediction: The liar-in-chief, birther-in-chief, conman-in-chief, groper-in-chief will not sign any bill that creates even the possibility of a convicted person receiving a lower sentence than he is currently eligible to receive.

Posted by: anon2 | Feb 26, 2017 1:43:45 PM

Regretfully, I agree with anon2.

Posted by: Dave from Texas | Feb 26, 2017 3:38:33 PM

Mr. Behar, under your philosophy of sentencing, no criminal would ever be released from prison for any reason. It follows that every crime should carry a mandatory penalty of death or life imprisonment without possibility of parole. I suppose we could have a society like that. North Korea comes to mind.

Posted by: Dave from Texas | Feb 26, 2017 3:42:17 PM

Dave. You must solve the problem of 15000 murders and 5 million violent crimes a year.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 26, 2017 4:12:02 PM

Mr. Behar, the solution to the murder and crime rate? Start with the following two steps:

First, Decriminalize possession and distribution of all drugs, yes, all.

Second, ban the manufacture and importation of all firearms (except for military and law enforcement )and offer $5,000 for turning in of every firearm, no questions asked.

Posted by: anon14 | Feb 26, 2017 5:50:14 PM

You forgot the most powerful factor. I have proposed changing welfare policy from forcing single mothers to go to work. You would not want them at your work site, anyway. Instead of jobs or training for jobs, make them go on Match.com. Every week, you check on them, ask, how many dates have you been on this week?

The chances for each of your proposals in our real world is close to nil. Their effectiveness is also open to question.

Without any social engineering, nor long term solutions, nor unlikely proposal, the simplest, most reliable, and also already proven one is public self help. Have the public kill the criminals. Crime ends in a month. That is the one factor that unifies all jurisdictions with low crime rates. The criminals are more afraid of the neighbors than of the police. An executive policy change can make it happen, by using discretion to immunize self help. It does not even require legislation.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 26, 2017 6:24:10 PM

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