Thousands of harmless activities are now classified as crimes in the United States. These are not typical common law crimes such as murder, rape, or theft. Instead they encompass a series of business activities such as importing orchids without the proper paperwork, shipping lobster tails in plastic bags, and even failing to return a library book.

Federal Criminal Justice Reform Legislation Has Conservative Values, Focuses on Public Safety

Right on Crime | October 6, 2017
Austin, TX — Right on Crime, the conservative campaign for criminal justice reform, applauds Congress for moving forward with important pieces of criminal justice reform legislation. Conservative principles that have…

Senator Hatch Introduces Bill to Strengthen Criminal Intent Protections

Katie Greer | October 3, 2017
Senator Orrin Hatch brought the issue of over-criminalization to the Senate floor Monday afternoon. With the ever-increasing number of regulations on the books, he underscored the importance of ‘criminal…

Felony Class Task Force off to an Interesting Start

Elain Ellerbe | September 22, 2017
At the initial meeting of the Louisiana Felony Class Task Force, all 12 task-force members or their designees were in attendance. This initial meeting was chaired by Supreme Court…

Lengthy Sentences are Not Making Communities Safer

Chelsea Murphy | September 22, 2017
Steal a cell phone or a car? Well in Florida, you just signed yourself up for a grand theft felony in both scenarios. That’s right, a cell phone or…

Prosecutors & Sentencing Enhancements

Julie Warren | September 19, 2017
There are prosecutors out there who love sentencing enhancements, and I get it.  Enhancements make a prosecutor’s life easier, because they can make it easier to obtain a guilty…

Assessing Risk Assessments

Julie Warren | September 19, 2017
Validated risk assessments are tools that allow the criminal justice system (courts, probation/parole, and corrections) the opportunity to asses each individual offender as just that, an individual. They allow…

Hot Dogs and Over-Criminalization in Berkeley

Marc Levin | September 13, 2017
The now-viral video of a UC-Berkeley police officer seizing a bacon hotdog vendor’s money begs some deeper scrutiny. The officer’s department issued a statement saying the money that was…

Follow Oklahoma County’s Lead on Criminal Justice

Andrew Speno | September 8, 2017
Oklahomans have a substantive opportunity to implement criminal justice reform. Oklahoma County has taken the initiative to uncover ways to reduce its bloated jail population through the creation of…

Felony – The Scarlet F

Kurt Altman | August 31, 2017
Imagine this: You’re 18 years old, out with a couple buddies, experimenting with marijuana and you’re arrested and charged with a felony. Or worse yet, maybe it was “wax”…

A Felony Doesn’t Have to be Forever

Thomas Lyons | August 3, 2017
What if a felony conviction did not mean a lifetime of dealing with collateral consequences?  Senator Leah Vukmir and Representative Joe Sanfelippo are pushing legislation, Senate Bill 57 and…

Ten Years of Criminal Justice Reform in Texas

Michael Haugen | August 1, 2017
This essay originally appeared in the July edition of Veritas, a quarterly publication of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. If one were to search for an example to prove correct the old…

Rethinking the Scope of Drug Free School Zone

Julie Warren | August 1, 2017
In 1995, Tennessee enacted The Drug Free School Zone Act—contained in § 39-17-432—for the stated “purpose of providing vulnerable persons in this state an environment in which they can…
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