This week I agreed to join an initiative called Right on Crime. They’re based out of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and are focused on helping people understand why a big, expensive prison system—one that offers no hope for second chances and redemption—isn’t conservative policy.
During my leadership as governor, Texas shut down three prisons, and we saved taxpayers $2 billion. When I left office, Texas had the lowest crime rate in our state since 1968. My administration started treatment programs and drug courts for people who wouldn’t be served well by sitting behind bars. We made sure our parole and probation programs were strong. Most of all, we evaluated prisons based on whether they got results. Did an ex-offender get locked up again? Did he get a job? Is he paying restitution to his victims? In Texas, we believe in results.The move completes a transition from 2005, when Perry vetoed the first round of Texas' much-ballyhooed probation reforms which he signed into law two years later. He's come a long way on these topics in the decade hence.
Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have been at the forefront of conservative criminal justice reform. So I’m proud to join my friends at Right on Crime who have helped make Texas safer while shrinking government.
Bob Dylan sang that "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," and in this case Rick Perry provides a remarkable political weather vane showing how public opinion among the conservative grass roots has shifted on these topics. Clearly he wouldn't think of doing this if there weren't a calculation - and probably internal polling - to indicate it would help his pending presidential campaign.
MORE: From Breitbart News.