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

Levin named one of Politico’s 50 “thinkers, doers and dreamers” for work in criminal justice reform

| September 5, 2014

AUSTIN, TX—Today, Right on Crime Policy Director Marc A. Levin was named one of Politico’s 50 “thinkers, doers and dreamers who really matter” in 2014. In addition to his work at Right on Crime, Levin is the Director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.


Each year, the Beltway-focused political magazine recognizes 50 of the most influential individuals in politics. In its 2014 feature, Politico described the “major shift [in conservative policy on criminal justice] that can be traced in no small part to a Texas attorney named Marc Levin…. To Levin, 38, the principles of prison reform are grounded not in progressivism but in the ideals of limited government, individual liberty and fiscal restraint.”

It continued:

In 2010, Levin co-founded the advocacy group Right on Crime to encourage reforms like eliminating mandatory sentences for low-level crimes and easing penalties for parole violations… His ideas are starting to break through: Between 2011 and 2013, 17 states—roughly half of them governed by Republicans—closed or considered closing a total of more than 60 correctional facilities, and the prison population is finally declining for the first time in two decades.

Politico also highlighted the over 70 influential conservative voices who support Right on Crime’s Statement of Principles on criminal justice reform, including Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist and many others. “Texas Gov. Rick Perry,” the article indicated, “personally credited Levin for his ‘leadership on this critical issue.’”

Levin was pleased at receiving the honor. “I am gratified that Politico has recognized the impact that Right on Crime has had in leading the conservative movement for criminal justice reforms that enhance public safety, empower victims, protect taxpayers, and redeem offenders,” he said.

It is particularly exciting that a list known for spotlighting inside the beltway power brokers now includes someone like me who lives and works in Austin, TX. This is perhaps fitting though because successful criminal justice reforms in states such as Texas, Georgia, and Ohio have been cited as the models for bipartisan legislation now pending in Congress to improve the federal system.

Brooke Rollins, President and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said:

Marc Levin isn’t an elected official; he doesn’t have his own cable news show or best-selling book; and—unlike most on Politico’s list—he lives far outside the Beltway in Austin, Texas. And yet, Marc’s contributions to the public debate about criminal justice and America’s prisons are changing the country, one state at a time. We couldn’t be more proud of what Marc and Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation has achieved.

Levin testified three times before Congress in Washington in 2013 and 2014, and is frequently called on to provide expertise in hearings on criminal justice matters by state legislators. Later this month, he will testify before the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee on September 15-16.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Levin served as a law clerk to Judge Will Garwood on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Staff Attorney at the Texas Supreme Court. In 1999, he graduated with honors from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Government. In 2002, Levin received his J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law.

Levin’s articles on law and public policy have been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Texas Review of Law & Politics, National Law Journal, New York Daily News, Jerusalem Post, Toronto Star, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Times, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Charlotte Observer, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, San Antonio Express-News and Reason Magazine.

Politico will toast the ‘Politico 50’ honorees in a reception on Wednesday, September 10 in Washington, DC.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact
David Reaboi dreaboi@texaspolicy.com | (202) 431-1948

The Right On Crime initiative promotes conservative ideas on criminal justice. It is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Justice Fellowship.



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.