The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.

George Kelling and William Bennett Sign Right On Crime’s Statement of Principles

| January 10, 2011

During the first week of Right On Crime’s national launch, two of the most prominent conservatives in America signed the campaign’s Statement of Principles: George Kelling and William Bennett.  The following biographies of Kelling and Bennett can also be found at the websites of The Manhattan Institute and billbennett.com.

George L. Kelling is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, and a fellow in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Kelling is currently researching organizational change in policing and the development of comprehensive community crime prevention programs.

Kelling has practiced social work as a child care worker, a probation officer, and has administered residential care programs for aggressive and disturbed youths. In 1972, he began work at the Police Foundation and conducted several large-scale experiments in policing, most notably the Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experiment and the Newark Foot Patrol Experiment. The latter was the source of his contribution to his most familiar publication in the Atlantic, “Broken Windows,” with James Q. Wilson. During the late 1980s, Kelling developed the order maintenance policies in the New York City subway that ultimately led to radical crime reductions. Later he consulted with the New York City Police Department as well, especially in dealing with “squeegeemen.”

His most recent major publication is Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities, which he has published with his wife, Catherine M. Coles. Currently he is studying organizational change in policing and the development of comprehensive community crime prevention programs. He has two children and four grandchildren.

Kelling is a graduate of St. Olaf College (B.A.), the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (M.S.W.), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.).

William J. Bennett is the host of the radio show “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America”.

He served as President Reagan’s chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981-1985) and Secretary of Education (1985-1988), and President Bush’s “drug czar” (1989-1990). In his various roles, he was perceived — even by his adversaries — as a man of strong, reasoned convictions who spoke candidly, eloquently, and honestly about some of the most important issues of our time.

Dr. Bennett has recently completed a two-volume history of the United States, entitled: “America: The Last Best Hope,” Volumes 1 & 2–both New York Times Best-sellers. Bill Bennett has accomplished a rare feat: since leaving government, he has achieved an even greater impact on our national political debate. Dr. Bennett has written for America’s leading newspapers and magazines and appeared on the nation’s most influential television shows. He has also written and edited 16 books, two of which — The Book of Virtues and The Children’s Book of Virtues — rank among the most successful of the past decade. The Book of Virtues has been made into an animated series that airs on PBS in the United States and Great Britain and has been seen in over 65 countries. Dr. Bennett was named by focus groups and leading analysts the “Best Communicator of 2002,” the most well-received public commentator on the issues of “pride, patriotism, faith, and moral conviction.” In April of 2005, the Sunday New York Times named Dr. Bennett the “leading spokesman of the Traditional Values wing of the Republican Party.”

Although he is a well-known Republican, Dr. Bennett often has crossed party lines in order to pursue important common purposes. He has worked closely with Democratic leaders to fight the decline of popular culture and to end worldwide religious persecution, and he is the co-chairman of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America with former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

Thanks to his writings and speeches, William Bennett has extraordinary influence on America’s political and social landscape. He, his wife Elayne, and their two sons live in Maryland.


RIGHT ON CRIME is a national campaign to promote successful, conservative solutions on American criminal justice policy—reforming the system to ensure public safety, shrink government, and save taxpayers money. By sharing research and policy ideas and mobilizing strong conservative voices, we work to raise awareness of the growing support for effective reforms within the conservative movement. We are transforming the debate on criminal justice in America.