Friday, October 03, 2014

Is Marc Levin why 'Republicans stopped being soft on crime'?

National Journal credits the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Marc Levin as the explanation for "How Republicans Stopped Being Tough on Crime." He deserves a lot of credit, for sure, along with Jerry Madden, Ray Allen, and a handful of other Texans, plus a few national figures like Pat Nolan and the late Chuck Colson. And his "Right on Crime" branding was pure genius. Congrats, Marc, on the well-deserved attention.

The article closes speculating that a Republican-controlled US Senate might be more receptive to criminal justice reform: "There you have it—prison reform, the final frontier of bipartisan legislation. But as Levin points out, there's just one last thing for Republicans and Democrats working on the issue to sort out: 'The only disagreement sometimes is who's gonna get the credit.'"

That's exactly what's happened here in Texas to change the climate on prison debates. Before Republicans came to power in 2003, the Texas Legislature would rather pass gas in Sunday School than piss off the police unions or open themselves up to the "soft" label, regardless of their personal beliefs. But many Republicans could care less about public employee unions and nobody would think to accuse coyote-shooting, kill-em-all-let-God-sort-em-out Rick Perry of being "soft," particularly because criminal justice discussions in the liberal press tend to myopically focus on the death penalty.

Once the over-incarceration issue became less politicized, budget math and common sense conspired to make reducing incarceration rates and closing three prisons kind of a no-brainer.

H/T: Sentencing Law and Policy.

RELATED: Check out a recent Federalist Society podcast featuring Marc Levin and Pat Nolan.


Skifool said...

Marc Levin does deserve congratulations for his good work on criminal justice reform through the years. In my dealings with him, I always found him willing to first listen and learn in a rational manner about how criminal justice system works, rather than coming from left (or is it right) field with his reform suggestions. He works very well with others, and if he is an ideologue, he hides it well.

Simran said...

Hey, Grits! I don't want to go off-topic, but I just wrote a post about a recent meeting I had with Hidalgo County Sheriff, Eddie Guerra. Not sure if you'd want to take a look at it Feel free to use it in anyway, if you need some more info, let me know, I haven't given all the goodies out yet, heh! Got Facebook or Skype or something? lol.