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Introducing The Right On Crime Podcast & Correctional Leadership Network

Thu, 07/28/2022 - 11:57

The Right On Crime Podcast launched its inaugural episode with the introduction of its newest campaign, The Correctional Leadership Network, a dynamic group of corrections professionals and thought leaders sharing best practices and expertise in criminal justice policy.

Right On Crime’s Correctional Leadership Network amplifies the voice of corrections experts from across the country in the reform debate around criminal justice policy. These stakeholders are best positioned to speak to the efficacy of rehabilitation toward recidivism reduction and achieving public safety.

Episode One featured host, Scott Peyton, Right On Crime’s Correctional Director; Tony Parker, Former Commissioner of Tennessee Department of Corrections and President of the American Correctional Association; Bryan Stirling, Director of South Carolina Department of Corrections; and Solomon Graves, Secretary of Arkansa Department of Corrections.

“Every day we read the headlines, or watch the news, about rising crime – communities fearing for their safety and politicians offering emotional, knee-jerk policies. There’s no doubt that violent criminals must be held to account.  And our prisons- already overcrowded and short-staffed- must make room and prepare those in their custody for the day they return to society. Eventually, 95% will return,” said Peyton.  “The good & bad of criminal justice policies ultimately come to roost at DOC’s across the nation.”

“It’s easy to get elected on a tough on crime mantra. But we have to be smart on crime. We have to know the resources and what these policies do at the end of the day. Once these people are released, that’s what we should be focused on,” said Parker.

“Meritorious good time is one of the most effective tools we have to incentivize good behavior… One of the most dangerous things you can have is someone in a correctional setting that has no incentive to follow the rules,” said Graves.

“These ideas are really a conservative approach, because we’re letting people earn the tools that will make them successful and not rely on the government,” said Stirling.

Through policy discussions, advocacy, podcasts, and events across the nation with state correctional leaders, Right On Crime’s Correctional Leadership Network will ensure that correctional expertise is properly weighed in national debate around criminal justice policy with the ultimate goal to support public safety.

The post Introducing The Right On Crime Podcast & Correctional Leadership Network first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

Right On Crime Releases New Study: Taking a Second Look at Juvenile Sentencing

Fri, 07/15/2022 - 20:41

(Austin, Texas) July 15, 2022 The harshest parole eligibility for juvenile offenders in any state is Texas’ mandatory sentence of a minimum of 40 years.  In the newest study from Right On Crime, a national conservative criminal justice campaign, we examine successes in other states requiring shorter mandatory sentences on a case-by-case basis and how meaningful rehabilitation programming impacts public safety: Taking a Second Look at Juvenile Sentencing.

Texas’ laws governing juvenile parole eligibility require an update to reflect the advancement of credible research around adolescent development. Given most incarcerated individuals will eventually be released, in order to ensure public safety, Texas must implement meaningful rehabilitation programs to prepare juvenile offenders to successfully reenter society.

“The goal is not to provide an escape from punishment for crimes committed by juveniles, but rather to ensure the punishment is appropriate for both the crime and the offender. Adjusting juvenile sentencing in Texas would acknowledge that adolescents’ decision-making abilities, as compared to adults, are underdeveloped, and, on a case-by-case basis, with earlier parole eligibility than 40 years, Texas can give adult juvenile offenders who have been rehabilitated a second chance to rebuild their lives and become meaningful contributors to society.”

Nikki Pressley, Texas Director of Right On Crime.

Study Key Points
  • Data show that juvenile offenders have a greater capacity for rehabilitation as they continue to reach developmental maturity and develop skills to rebuild their lives and become contributing members to society.
  • Research concerning recidivism and adolescent development supports that juvenile offenders are often rehabilitated well before their parole eligibility, which in Texas is 40 years, the longest of any state.
  • Most states have adjusted parole eligibility for juvenile offenders by considering research on adolescents’ ability to mature and successfully integrate into parole proceedings and society.
  • Research shows significantly lower rearrest rates among adult juvenile offenders in comparison to adult offenders released into communities.
See the Full study here: Full Study

The post Right On Crime Releases New Study: Taking a Second Look at Juvenile Sentencing first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

Right On Crime Recognizes Community Corrections Professionals: National Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision (PPPS) Week

Fri, 07/15/2022 - 13:42

(Mississippi & Louisiana) July 15– Right On Crime recognizes the tireless work of more than 100,000 community corrections professionals around the country who work hard to keep our communities safe during National Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision (PPPS) Week from July 17-23, 2022.

PPPS Week is an annual week dedicated to raising awareness of the life-changing work community corrections professionals do each day.

Scott Peyton, Right On Crime Director of Mississippi and Louisiana is a former law enforcement and probation and parole officer who now works with policymakers and thought leaders throughout the nation on criminal justice reform and our Correctional Leadership Network, where we connect leaders from the corrections industry to share best practices and policy ideas.

Peyton said, “A special thanks to the men and women of Probation and Parole who work tirelessly to ensure public safety for all Louisianians and Mississippians through effective supervision, by supporting victims, and by assisting those on supervision to become productive citizens.  You are the front-line workers in combating recidivism and keeping our communities safe!”

Year in and year out, corrections professionals often shoulder the good and bad of criminal justice policies in their communities. They work as first responders and, during Covid, shifted their work models to support, assist, and guide individuals under supervision and the community.

Heroes all year long, Right On Crime commends the efforts of corrections professionals across the nation.  For more information about activities in your community to salute PPPS week from July 17-23, go to www.appa-net.org.

The post Right On Crime Recognizes Community Corrections Professionals: National Pretrial, Probation and Parole Supervision (PPPS) Week first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

Taking a Second Look at Juvenile Justice

Thu, 07/14/2022 - 19:31

Texas’ laws governing juvenile parole eligibility require an update to reflect the advancement of credible research around adolescent development. Given the majority of incarcerated individuals will eventually be released, in order to ensure public safety, Texas must implement meaningful rehabilitation programs to prepare juvenile offenders to successfully reenter society.

Key points
  • Data show that juvenile offenders have a greater capacity for rehabilitation as they continue to reach developmental maturity and develop skills to rebuild their lives and become contributing members to society.
  • Research concerning recidivism and adolescent development supports that juvenile offenders are often rehabilitated well before their parole eligibility, which in Texas is 40 years, the longest of any state.
  • Most states have adjusted parole eligibility for juvenile offenders by considering research on adolescents’ ability to mature and successfully integrate into parole proceedings and society.
  • Research shows significantly lower rearrest rates among adult juvenile offenders in comparison to adult offenders released into communities.
Read the full study here: Full Study

The post Taking a Second Look at Juvenile Justice first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

Florida should bring back parole, conservative policy study says

Tue, 07/12/2022 - 16:29

Florida got rid of parole in the 1980s and ‘90s. Prison populations grew. Some now say it should return.

A recent study published by a conservative criminal justice reform organization concludes that Florida should bring back parole.

Right on Crime, a project of the Texas Public Policy Institute, a conservative think tank, released the study last month. It concluded a moderate and gradual reinstatement of parole would improve public safety and save taxpayer money.

“As Floridians, we should demand more for our public safety,” the study concludes. “Parole has far too many benefits, and Florida’s criminal justice system has far too many problems for policymakers to keep ignoring this potentially valuable tool.”

The study suggests those convicted of nonviolent crimes should be eligible for parole after serving 60 percent of their sentence. The paper also suggests specific convictions, like murder and sex crimes, could be designated as ineligible for parole.

“Not everyone deserves parole, especially those with habitually violent records,” it states. “Parole should not be a ‘one size fits all,’ and just because someone is eligible for parole does not mean they should be released.”

Although various justice reforms have received bipartisan support in recent years, the paper is notable in that it comes from a right-of-center organization.

Will the study influence Florida’s Republican-dominated state government?

“With this administration and this Legislature, you will find there is little desire for anything substantial in criminal justice,” said state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, who has made criminal justice issues a focus of his work in the state Senate.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Florida Sheriff’s Association said the organization strongly opposes reinstating parole. They pointed to their own study, published in 2019, which concluded that Florida’s current laws have resulted in a reduction in crime.

Florida eliminated parole for most offenses in 1983, then abolished it entirely in the mid-1990s. Today, Florida is one of 16 states that do not have parole.

The law also requires that prisoners serve at least 85 percent of their sentences before they can achieve an early release. The rule applies regardless of whether their crime was nonviolent.

The state still has a parole board, which these days is dubbed the Florida Commission on Offender Review. The three-person panel examines the cases of people convicted of crimes before the state abolished parole. But few these days are granted release and the majority of the state’s prisoners are ineligible.

The years since parole was abolished have seen the prison population grow. A few years ago, the numbers swelled to more than 100,000. They have dipped more recently, to about 80,000 prisoners as of 2021, according to a yearly report from the Department of Corrections. The decrease is partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during which there were fewer people moving to prison from county jails.

The state has 50 of what are termed “major institutions.” Some facilities are older and afflicted with aging infrastructure. The prison system also has grappled in recent years with staffing shortages. A little more than a quarter of the prison population includes people aged 50 or older. Elderly prisoners often have special health care needs, which increase incarceration costs.

The Right on Crime study recommends expanding the number of people on the state’s parole board to include a formerly incarcerated person and a crime victim or victim advocate.

It examines expenses, noting that it costs an average of about $76 a day to incarcerate a person. It compares that figure with the average cost to keep a person on community supervision, which ranges from $7.18 to $11.69 a day, with the cost slightly higher if subject to electronic monitoring.

The study compares Florida with Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Oklahoma — states deemed to have similar politics and approaches to criminal justice. All but Florida offer parole, with varying points of eligibility.

Texas allows parole consideration once a person has served 15 years or 25 percent of their sentence, whichever is first, except for those convicted of violent or sex crimes. The other states also offer parole after specified percentages of a sentence have been served.

The paper suggests augmenting parole with supervision, and resources for former prisoners to obtain housing and employment.

“Adding parole is not necessarily a magic wand,” said Chelsea Murphy, the paper’s author. “There are a lot of things that need to happen to make this successful.”

Learn more about the Right On Crime Study here: Study

The post Florida should bring back parole, conservative policy study says first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

Right On Crime Releases New Study: The Legislative Role in Law Enforcement-Led Opioid Response Programs in West Virginia

Wed, 07/06/2022 - 15:45

(West Virginia) July 6, 2022- With a nationwide opioid health crisis and the recent federal court ruling clearing drug distributors in West Virginia, law enforcement agencies are increasingly adopting new strategies to counter the epidemic. In the newest study from Right On Crime, a national conservative criminal justice campaign, we explore how policymakers might better support law enforcement: The Legislative Role in Law Enforcement-Led Opioid Response Programs in West Virginia.

“The ruling in West Virginia in favor of drug distributors is another reminder of both the incredible human toll of the opioid epidemic and the difficulties facing policymakers trying to end it,” said Lars Trautman, West Virginia and National Director of Right On Crime. “As West Virginia’s policymakers consider alternative ways to address the opioid abuse crisis, they should include measures to bolster and improve existing law enforcement efforts to help divert individuals in need into treatment.”

In the 184-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David Faber wrote, “The opioid crisis has taken a considerable toll on the citizens of Cabell County and the City of Huntington. And while there is a natural tendency to assign blame in such cases, they must be decided not based on sympathy, but on the facts and the law.”

The Right On Crime Study:

The Legislative Role in Law Enforcement–Led Opioid Abuse Response in West Virginia.

Key Points:

  • West Virginia’s law enforcement agencies are increasingly adopting new strategies to counter the opioid epidemic that favor treatment over traditional criminal justice methods.
  • West Virginia’s opioid abuse response now includes Quick Response Teams, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, and an Angel Initiative. Collectively, these programs aim to reduce drug overdoses and replace criminal justice involvement with treatment.
  • West Virginia’s law enforcement–led opioid abuse response programs fail to reach their full potential, with limited geographic reach and officers lacking legal procedures available to peers in other states.
  • Lawmakers could expand program reach by providing greater state support and guidance for local initiatives and by authorizing angel initiatives for local law enforcement.
  • Providing law enforcement officers in West Virginia with civil protective custody powers and additional citation authority could help them better respond to opioid-related emergencies without resorting to arrests.

For interview requests, please contact Tonya Kerr, Communications Director of Right On Crime tkerr@rightoncrime.com or 512-300-3767

The post Right On Crime Releases New Study: The Legislative Role in Law Enforcement-Led Opioid Response Programs in West Virginia first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

The Legislative Role in Law Enforcement–Led Opioid Abuse Response in West Virginia

Wed, 07/06/2022 - 14:50

Despite expanding its opioid abuse response programs in recent years, West Virginia’s law enforcement has not tapped into their full potential. Without additional legislative measures supporting these local efforts, West Virginia’s law enforcement cannot maximize their reach or effectiveness.

Key Points:
  • West Virginia’s law enforcement agencies are increasingly adopting new strategies to counter the opioid epidemic that favor treatment over traditional criminal justice methods.
  • West Virginia’s opioid abuse response now includes Quick Response Teams, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, and an Angel Initiative. Collectively, these programs aim to reduce drug overdoses and replace criminal justice involvement with treatment.
  • West Virginia’s law enforcement–led opioid abuse response programs fail to reach their full potential, with limited geographic reach and officers lacking legal procedures available to peers in other states.
  • Lawmakers could expand program reach by providing greater state support and guidance for local initiatives and by authorizing angel initiatives for local law enforcement.
  • Providing law enforcement officers in West Virginia with civil protective custody powers and additional citation authority could help them better respond to opioid-related emergencies without resorting to arrests.
Read the Full Publication here: Full Study

The post The Legislative Role in Law Enforcement–Led Opioid Abuse Response in West Virginia first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

West Virginia Policymakers Could Examine Law Enforcement-Led Opioid Response Programs

Tue, 07/05/2022 - 15:30

(West Virginia) July 5, 2022- In a bellwether ruling which will likely impact courts across the nation, a federal judge in West Virginia cleared three major drug distributors of legal wrongdoing in the state’s opioid health crisis. In an upcoming study from Right On Crime, a national conservative criminal justice campaign, we explore how West Virginia policymakers could improve existing law enforcement-led opioid abuse responses.

“The ruling in West Virginia in favor of drug distributors is another reminder of both the incredible human toll of the opioid epidemic and the difficulties facing policymakers trying to end it,” said Lars Trautman, West Virginia and National Director of Right On Crime. “As West Virginia’s policymakers consider alternative ways to address the opioid abuse crisis, they should include measures to bolster and improve existing law enforcement efforts to help divert individuals in need into treatment.”

In the 184-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David Faber wrote, “The opioid crisis has taken a considerable toll on the citizens of Cabell County and the City of Huntington. And while there is a natural tendency to assign blame in such cases, they must be decided not based on sympathy, but on the facts and the law.”

The Upcoming Study:

The Legislative Role in Law Enforcement–Led Opioid Abuse Response in West Virginia.

Key Points:
  • West Virginia’s law enforcement agencies are increasingly adopting new strategies to counter the opioid epidemic that favor treatment over traditional criminal justice methods.
  • West Virginia’s opioid abuse response now includes Quick Response Teams, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, and an Angel Initiative. Collectively, these programs aim to reduce drug overdoses and replace criminal justice involvement with treatment.
  • West Virginia’s law enforcement–led opioid abuse response programs fail to reach their full potential, with limited geographic reach and officers lacking legal procedures available to peers in other states.
  • Lawmakers could expand program reach by providing greater state support and guidance for local initiatives and by authorizing angel initiatives for local law enforcement.
  • Providing law enforcement officers in West Virginia with civil protective custody powers and additional citation authority could help them better respond to opioid-related emergencies without resorting to arrests.

To request a copy of the full study, please contact Tonya Kerr, Communications Director of Right On Crime tkerr@rightoncrime.com or 512-300-3767

Right on Crime supports conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs and is a national campaign of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The post West Virginia Policymakers Could Examine Law Enforcement-Led Opioid Response Programs first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

Engaging Employers on Second Chance Hiring

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 12:39

Right On Crime connects employers and criminal justice thought leaders across the nation to make second chance hiring a reality. Executive Director Brett Tolman explains why this work is so important to our communities. #PublicSafetyMatters

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Categories: Criminal Justice News

Right On Crime Welcomes Former Tennessee Corrections Commissioner as Newest Signatory

Thu, 06/23/2022 - 10:24

AUSTIN, TX – Right On Crime recently welcomed its newest signatory, Tony Parker, former Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections with 38 years in the field of corrections and current President of the Fourth Purpose Foundation. Parker signed the conservative criminal justice reform organization’s Statement of Principles pledging to support a cost-effective system that protects citizens, restores victims, reduces recidivism, and prioritizes public safety.

“I am honored to support the work and principles of Right On Crime,” said Parker. “As Americans, we must question the return on investment we receive from the practice of incarcerating individuals when there is no focus on the most important aspect of the correctional mission, which is effective rehabilitation.” 

Parker adds, “When people see the only mission of corrections as being retribution, the true mission of corrections is lost and the product we receive is a broken system that recycles individuals in and out of our prisons resulting in high recidivism rates, increased crime and more victims.  Our citizens deserve the most effective criminal justice system possible, and Right On Crime is working hard to make that a reality.” 

“I look forward to working with Tony Parker and leaning into his correctional expertise and leadership in this critical area of criminal justice reform,” said Brett Tolman, Right On Crime Executive Director and former U.S. Attorney. “Our criminal justice system must be transparent and be held accountable at every step. As a prosecutor, I’ve put thousands of criminals behind bars, but when the majority are eventually released, how do we want them returning to our communities?  Public safety must be our focus.” 

Parker began his career as a Correctional Officer and rose through the ranks to Warden, Assistant Commissioner, and finally Commissioner. Mr. Parker was first appointed Commissioner in June of 2016 by former Governor Bill Haslam and was reappointed in January 2019 by Governor Bill Lee. Parker also currently serves as the President of the American Correctional Association (ACA).

Mr. Parker earned an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Dyersburg State Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies with an emphasis in Homeland Security from the prestigious Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California.

Right On Crime is a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation supporting conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Tonya Kerr at tkerr@rightoncrime.com.

Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin that aims to foster human flourishing by protecting and promoting liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility.

The post Right On Crime Welcomes Former Tennessee Corrections Commissioner as Newest Signatory first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News

Scott Peyton on SuperTalkNews Mississippi

Tue, 06/21/2022 - 13:32

Scott Peyton, Right On Crime Director, joins SuperTalkNews Mississippi to discuss ReEntry & CJR.

The post Scott Peyton on SuperTalkNews Mississippi first appeared on Right On Crime.

Categories: Criminal Justice News