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

Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances for the Justice System

| June 25, 2015

A new campaign launched by the Coalition for Public Safety is urging a better understanding of justice reform. This reform incorporates conservative principles such as cost-efficiency and well guarded public safety. The understanding needed in this is that the enormous expense occurred by the ever expanding criminal justice system could be mitigated while still preserving, and in fact increasing, public safety.

America has incarcerated a stunning number of its citizens in the last several decades. This growth in the corrections system has come with a sizable price tag for taxpayers. On both a state and local level, increased commitment has meant more and larger prison facilities to warehouse offenders on the public’s dime. Many of these offenders are non-violent and low-level violators.

What the Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances campaign aims to do is show through research that appropriate sentencing and improved chances after prison can greatly reduce the chance of recidivism and increase the possibility that former offenders will go on to get jobs, have and support families, and positively contribute to the community.

There are a variety of policies that are supported in this campaign, many of which have been picked up in conservative states during the last session, such as Texas. The adjustment of mandatory minimums to fit the true risk of the crime, expansion of alternative sentencing that keeps the offender local and closer to home, reduction of the massive overcriminalization that rampant regulation has incurred, and the encouragement of nondisclosure provisions are a few policies that promise to safeguard public safety, and the public purse.


DIANNA MULDROW is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where she focused on criminal justice and education policy. She has interned in the Governor’s Office, for the Chair of the State Board of Education, and most recently at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Education Freedom and Center for Effective Justice. She is now employed as a policy analyst for Right on Crime, focusing on juvenile justice. Muldrow has worked on many research papers and articles – for Texas and several other states – advocating for reforms in criminal justice that protect public safety in a cost-effective manner.