Although the Republican National Convention is over, the GOP's 2012 platform includes some exciting policy shifts for criminal justice reform.The Washington Post story makes a particularly astute observation about changes in the party platform's approach to the war on drugs:
Rejecting a "one size fits all" approach to crime and prisons, the GOP's 2012 platform includes new provisions that emphasize the importance of rehabilitation and re-entry programs to help ex-prisoners integrate back into society. :: Read more about criminal justice reform in the GOP platform here
Also, last week, Marc Levin, Right on Crime's senior policy advisor, was interviewed by the Washington Post about the GOP's changing views on prison reform. In the article, Marc Levin discusses the conservative case for reform and how states can be successful in implementing alternatives that hold nonviolent offenders accountable and reduce re-offending, which the GOP platform now advocates.
The conservative approach is much different from locking everyone up regardless of the nature of the offense and throwing away the key, but it's also different from the mistaken notion that society causes crime, not criminals, which dangerously undermines personal responsibility.
Here, at Right on Crime we have all worked to present the conservative case for reform and are happy to see the GOP platform is advocating for criminal justice reform. :: You can read the article here.
Four years ago, Republicans devoted a section in their platform to the War on Drugs, lamenting the “human toll of drug addiction and abuse” and vowing to “continue the fight against producers, traffickers, and distributor of illegal substances.”Granted, party platforms mean little when it comes to actual governance and are mostly about throwing ideological bones to the party base. But it's remarkable that a document articulating a vision endorsed by the GOP base has changed its tune on these subjects to such a degree. Just a decade ago I doubt anyone would have predicted it could happen.
That plank is conspicuously missing from the GOP platform this year. The fight against illegal drugs is only mentioned in passing, mostly with reference to drug cartels and the ban on using controlled substances for doctor-assisted suicide.
A number of other items mentioned in the Right on Crime newsletter merit Grits readers' attention:
New Orleans Seeks to Expand Pretrial Evaluations:: Watch the videos here.
RightOnCrime.com - September 4
After just a few months of operation, prosecutors and court officials agree: pretrial evaluations of defendants should be expanded in New Orleans. The tool, which uses interviews shortly after arrest to objectively evaluate risk factors (or lack thereof), has been credited with aiding courts in New Orleans with information critical to making smart pretrial detention decisions. Based on an individual defendant's risks and likelihood to reappear, the pretrial evaluation creates a recommendation on bail or detention decisions. :: Read More
Tampa Targets Juvenile First-Timers
RightOnCrime.com - August 28
Just six years ago, Hillsborough County and its county seat, Tampa, led the state in the number of juveniles arrested for nonviolent or minor offenses. County commissioners were dismayed by not only the costs this created for their court system, but also for the rap sheets now carried by thousands of juveniles-arrest records can sometimes create obstacles to college education or employment.
:: Read More
Overcriminalization - Criminalizing the Everyday
Texas Public Policy Foundation - August 23
The Texas Public Policy Foundation has published an interview series on the expanding number of criminal laws in the United States Right on Crime Signatory Ed Meese and Right on Crime staff members, Marc Levin and Vikrant P. Reddy, were all interviewed.