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Until recently prisons have been the sacred cows in state budgets. They are the second fastest growing item in state budgets, second only to Medicaid. Conservative leaders in several states have enacted reforms that have saved billions by reserving costly prison beds for violent offenders, while punishing non-violent offenders in community programs, without increasing their crime rates. Do these reforms provide a roadmap for other states and the federal government?

Marc Levin, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Pat Nolan of the American Conservative Union Foundation, are leaders of Right on Crime, a movement of conservatives working with the states to provide conservative and fiscally responsible solutions to their criminal justice problems. They described the specific reforms that have been utilized in states such as Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Ohio to cut their prison costs while also driving the crime rates down.

  • Marc A. Levin, Director, Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Pat Nolan, Director, Center for Criminal Justice Reform, The American Conservative Union