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

About Right on Crime

Right On Crime is the one-stop source for conservative ideas on criminal justice. It is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation in cooperation with the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Prison Fellowship.

The Right on Crime Team

Marc-Levin_headshotMarc A. Levin is Right on Crime’s Policy Director, as well as the Director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Based in Austin, Texas, Levin is an attorney and an accomplished author on legal and public policy issues. 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 national and international media outlets that regularly turn to him for conservative analysis of states’ criminal justice challenges.

Contact:Email | Twitter | Facebook

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Derek M. Cohen, Ph.D is Deputy Director of Right on Crime and the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Cohen graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University. He went on to complete an M.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, where he also recently completed his Ph.D. dissertation on the long-term costs and outcomes associated with correctional programming. His academic work can be found in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management and the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Theoretical Criminology and The Oxford Handbook on Police and Policing, and has scholarly articles currently under review. He has presented several papers to the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the American Evaluation Association on the implementation and outcomes of various criminal justice policy issues.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Cohen was a research associate with University of Cincinnati’s Institute of Crime Science. He also taught classes in statistics, research methods, criminal procedure, and corrections.

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Greg Glod is the Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and the Manager of State Initiatives for Right on Crime.

Based in Austin, Texas, Glod is an attorney who began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Laura S. Kiessling on the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He subsequently practiced at a litigation firm in Annapolis, Maryland before joining Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In 2010, he graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with B.A. degrees in Crime, Law, and Justice and Political Science. In 2013, Glod received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law.

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Joe Luppino-Esposito is a policy analyst for Right on Crime and the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

He serves as the Foundation’s liaison in and around the nation’s capital, working with Congress, state legislatures, and allied organizations to develop criminal justice reforms. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was the editor and general counsel of State Budget Solutions, focusing on public employee pensions and state budget reforms. As the Visiting Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, Luppino-Esposito worked on the overcriminalization project, analyzing federal criminal laws. Luppino-Esposito earned a J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Circuit Review legal journal, and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary. A New Jersey native, he is a licensed attorney in Virginia, where he currently resides.

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randystaffRandy Petersen is a senior researcher for Right on Crime and the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Petersen spent twenty-one years in law enforcement in Bloomington, Illinois, working in patrol, investigations, administration, and management. After retiring from the Bloomington Police Department, Randy moved to Texas where he was an instructor and Director of the Tarrant County College District Criminal Justice Training Center, of one of the largest police academies in the state. The academy was responsible for basic police training for over forty different police agencies in the DFW Metroplex as well as in-service training for current law enforcement officers from all over the country.

Randy is passionate about law enforcement and criminal justice policy issues and is pursuing his Doctor of Management in Homeland Security. His research specialties include the militarization of law enforcement, police training, and police assisted diversion programs. Randy holds a B.S. in Legal Studies and a M.S. in Justice Administration and Crime Management from Bellevue University. His free time is spent with his wife, kids, and horses.

Contact: Email

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haley-holik-staff-photo-template-1Haley Holik is an attorney on staff with the Texas Public Policy Foundation and its Right on Crime initiative, based in Austin, Texas.

Holik holds a B.A. in Communications from Moody Bible Institute and earned her J.D. from Regent University School of Law. While a student, she hosted an on-campus radio show dedicated to politics and world events. She served as a clerk for the American Center for Law and Justice during law school, as well as a legislative intern for Rep. Randy Forbes. Holik participated in the Civil Practice Clinic at Regent as a student-practitioner, advocating on behalf of clients in need of civil legal services. As a staff member ofRegent University Law Review, her note concerning compelled speech and First Amendment violations was chosen for publication.

As a native Texan, she is grateful to be back in the Lone Star State.

Contact: Email

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Haugen-HiResMichael Haugen is a policy analyst at Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Haugen is a graduate of Eastern Washington University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with Pre-Medicine Option, and a minor in Chemistry. He also holds an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies from North Idaho College.

As an undergraduate, he participated in academic research in a molecular microbiology laboratory for two years, investigating genetic virulence factors and pathophysiology in microbes. In 2011, he presented his research before faculty and peers at the Student Research and Creative Works Symposium in Cheney, WA.

His writing for the Foundation has focused primarily on criminal justice reform topics, particularly civil forfeiture, prison reform and justice reinvestment, and mens rea reform. He’s also written about federal corporate subsidies, school choice, and gun rights. On his personal blog, he has also provided insight into current topics in the news, pro-life advocacy, as well as commentary on various ballot initiatives that have arisen in his native Washington State in recent years.

His writing has appeared in National Review,The Hill,Townhall, Washington Examiner, TribTalk, Redstate, Ricochet, and Breitbart Texas.

Contact:Email|Twitter

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Dan Isett is Director of Communications for Right on Crime.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Isett served as Director of Communications and Policy for the Parents Television Council, Director of External Affairs at The Center for Education Reform and Executive Director of the Texas Home School Coalition. In 2002, he was elected chairman of the Lubbock County Republican Party, the youngest County Chairman in Texas at the time.

Mr. Isett has been a guest on a variety of television and radio talk shows, and has been quoted in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, The Hill, Congressional Quarterly, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Reuters, Education Week, Congressional Quarterly, Multichannel News, and Television Week.

Mr. Isett is a graduate of Texas Tech University and has a degree in History and Mass Communications.

Contact: Email |Twitter

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Noelle Mandell is the Deputy Director of Events and Communications.

Before coming to the Foundation, Noelle was a Field Director for Americans for Prosperity where she drove freedom-oriented policy fights in her community through grassroots activities, oversaw event planning across the state, and managed the state chapter’s social media accounts. Previously she was the Texas Programs Manager with Students For Liberty where she supervised outreach activities and conferences across the Lone Star State.

Noelle was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Philosophy. While in college, Noelle spent most of her time outside of class organizing around political issues—from running campus and local community groups to shaping global efforts for liberty. She continues to be involved in promoting these ideas in various capacities. Noelle currently resides in East Austin, Texas and enjoys coffee, fishkeeping, and parades.

Contact: Email |Twitter

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Katie Greer is the Web Writer and Social Media Associate.

A 5th generation Texan, Katie is passionate about promoting civil liberties. Before joining Right on Crime, she most recently worked as a Communications Specialist for a statewide trade association. Her previous experience includes assisting lobbyist, Bill Pewitt, and campaigning to elect Texas’ 48th Governor Greg Abbott. Katie received a Bachelors in Communication Studies from Millsaps College.

Contact: Email |Twitter

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Andrew Speno is the State Director of Oklahoma.

Andrew previously worked as President of Media Strategies at Dry Design Group, a media consulting firm focusing on work with law firms, political candidates, lawmakers, and private companies. Andrew was the main news anchor at the Fox News affiliate in Oklahoma City from 2001 to 2012, and was the only main anchor in Oklahoma City to report almost daily, focusing on political and investigative reporting. His work has won more than 25 awards from the Associated Press, Society for Professional Journalists, and The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. He was also named on Oklahoma City’s “40 Under 40” list as one of the most influential people younger than 40 in 2003.

At Dry Design Group, Andrew trained attorneys in a wide range of practice areas to provide legal analysis for the media, served as press secretary for several Republican campaigns, and worked with State Senator Kyle Loveless and the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs to introduce civil asset forfeiture reform to Oklahoma. Andrew uses his wide experience in politics and journalism to promote conservative criminal justice reform to both lawmakers and the general public. Andrew was a political science major at Illinois College, attended law school at Northern Illinois University, and did his graduate work in broadcast journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Contact: Email |Twitter

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Kurt Altman is the State Director of Arizona and New Mexico.

Kurt became a signatory for Right on Crime in early 2016 and recently more fully joined the reform movement, promoting Right on Crime’s policies in the State Houses of Arizona and New Mexico. He has nearly 24 years of criminal law and Constitutional litigation experience. As a former Deputy Maricopa County Attorney and Assistant United States Attorney, Kurt has conducted literally hundreds of felony jury trials and lead investigations of criminal conduct ranging from homicide and capital cases to complex white collar matters. Formerly, as a member of the Department of Justice, Kurt earned the Director’s Award, the highest honor bestowed upon Department of Justice lawyers, and has twice received the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director’s Award for his tireless efforts on behalf of FBI-conducted investigations. Since 2008 he has operated his own practice defending the accused in criminal matters of all varieties also ranging from homicide to white collar.

Contact: Email

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Elaine Ellerbe is the State Director of Louisiana.

Elain has over twenty years experience in prison reentry programming. Elain’s expertise in reentry program development and implementation as well as providing programs that address the special issues facing families impacted by the criminal justice system have been recognized nationally and in Louisiana. In 2013, Elain was named to the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame, along with her husband Michael, posthumously, for their life long work in the area of reentry. In 2014, Elain was selected by the Louisiana Women’s Legislative Caucus as their Heroine of the Year, for her commitment to assist the incarcerated and their families.

Elain holds a Bachelors in Criminal Justice from Liberty University, and holds certifications in a number of evidence-based programs, including Nurturing Parenting, Inside/Out Dad, Bridges Out of Poverty, and Moral Reconation Therapy.

Contact: Email |Twitter

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Chelsea Murphy is the Sate Director of Florida.

Chelsea has been immersed in Florida politics for the past decade, and advocated on behalf of various clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, non-profits, to local governments. More specifically to justice reform she represented the largest and oldest private provider for re-entry programming in the state of Florida. She helped start two smart justice coalitions, and she’s represented a variety of mental and behavioral health stakeholders.

Chelsea is based in Tallahassee where she lives with her husband and two children.

Contact: Email |Twitter

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Thomas Lyons is the Sate Director of Wisconsin.

After receiving an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from Marquette University, Tom entered the legal field. Working in offices in Kewaunee and Sheboygan Counties, Tom’s practice focused primarily on criminal defense, juvenile, and mental health law. Switching to the world of policy, Tom started as a legislative aide to a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, followed by a State Senator, and for a brief time Governor Scott Walker before joining Right on Crime on 2017.

Contact:Email

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Julie Warren is the State Director of Tennessee and Kentucky.

Julie is a graduate of Marshall University and of Regent University School of Law. She also attended Georgetown Law Center as a visiting student. While in law school, she clerked on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Julie served four years at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. After a few years in private practice as a civil defense litigator, Julie returned to public service and began her work in the Office of the West Virginia Attorney General where she primarily served as an appellate advocate for the State of West Virginia and as legislative counsel to the Attorney General.

Contact: Email |Twitter

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JerryMaddenFormer Texas House Committee on Corrections Chairman Jerry Madden is a Senior Fellow at the Right on Crime campaign.

Rep. Madden is best known, along with Senator John Whitmire, as the driving force behind the successful and much-copied 2007 Texas criminal justice reforms. (For their work, Governing Magazine named them Public Officials of the Year in 2010.) Madden graduated from West Point with a BS in Engineering, obtained a Master of Science in Management and Administration Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1979, and has since been honored as one of their distinguished graduates. After being elected to the Texas Legislature in November of 1992, he served ten terms. While there, Rep. Madden was Chairman of the House Committee on Corrections from 2005-2009 and again from 2011-2012. In 2011, the American Legislative Exchange Council honored Rep. Madden as their Legislator of the Year. He chaired ALEC’s Public Safety and Elections Task Force from January 2011 through April of 2012, and serves as well on the Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit. He and his family have lived in Richardson, Texas since 1971.

Contact:Email|Twitter

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deroche

Craig DeRoche is a senior fellow with Right on Crime.

DeRoche serves as the Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy for Prison Fellowship. He is the former Speaker of the House in Michigan. DeRoche is a frequent contributor to the growing national discussion on criminal justice reform, addiction and recovery. DeRoche is in long-term recovery for his own addictions and is the author of the memoir “Highly Functional: A Collision of Addiction, Justice & Grace.”

Under DeRoche’s leadership, Prison Fellowship’s advocacy has developed a group of federal and state elected officials known as the Faith & Justice Fellowship to advocate for values-based justice reform. This group includes United States Senators, Congressmen, state legislators and a Governor. DeRoche is the co-author of Prison Fellowship’s small group study guide and trade book titled “Outrageous Justice” that is being distributed throughout American churches. DeRoche serves as an Advisory Board Member to the Vera Institute for their “Reimagining Prison” project. He is a former member of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Prison Reform created by Congress.

DeRoche is a frequent author and contributor to news, media and opinion pieces and was featured in the Academy Award nominated documentary “13th.” DeRoche has his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Central Michigan University.

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patnolanWorking closely with Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation is Patrick J. Nolan, Director of the Criminal Justice Reform Project at the American Conservative UnionFoundation.

He is a former California Assemblyman and the author of When Prisoners Return. Nolan understands the inside of a prison well, having served 29 months in federal custody after pleading guilty to a charge of racketeering. He earned a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.

Contact:Email|Twitter

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Sheriff (Ret) Currie Myers, PhD, is a Visiting Senior Fellow with Right on Crime.

Dr. Myers has a combined 30 years of professional experience as a state trooper, special agent, sheriff, criminologist, professor, and university executive. Dr. Myers ended his law enforcement career as the sheriff of Johnson County, Kansas which serves a population of more than 600,000 citizens in the Kansas City Metropolitan area and is one of the largest sheriffs’ offices in the Midwest with nearly 750 employees and a jail population of approximately 1,000 inmates. He is a nationally recognized expert in criminal justice public policy as well as organizational management and leadership and has spoken at more than 1,000 local, state, and national conferences.

As a professor, Dr. Myers has developed and taught more than 25 courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level including disciplines within criminal justice, criminology, organizational management, leadership, ethics, and in the humanities. As a senior university executive (school dean and associate vice president), he has rolled out new degree programs, new product and program concepts, conducted program reviews, and have development outcomes-based, applied learning curriculum in various forms of modality (online, blended, and didactic). While the dean of the school of justice studies at Rasmussen College in Bloomington, Minnesota, Dr. Myers led a student population of nearly 2,000 along with approximately 150 faculty and staff to include a state-of-the-art police academy and corrections academy.

He is currently a professor of Organizational Leadership at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, an adjunct professor at Benedictine College, the University of Missouri at Kansas City in the criminology department, and at Baker University in the MBA program, where he teaches leadership and management courses. He resides in Mission, Kansas with his wife and has five children, ages 11-27.

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