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


Derek M. Cohen

December 9, 2016

Rebutting Common Myths of Civil Asset Forfeiture

| December 9, 2016

The status quo of civil asset forfeiture in Texas persists due to common myths surrounding the practice and its prospective elimination. Those myths, while false, warrant discussion. [pdf-embedder url="http://rightoncrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2016-12-PP29-MythsCivilAssetForfeiture-CEJ-DerekCohen.pdf"]...

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Greg Glod

November 8, 2016

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Balancing the Scales of Due Process: The Conservative Case for Grand Jury Reform in Texas

| November 8, 2016

This paper discusses the history of the American grand jury system, Texas’ grand jury system, areas within the status quo where procedural safeguards do not properly protect the liberties of Texans, and what other states have done to bolster their grand jury systems. [pdf-embedder url="http://rightoncrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016-10...

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Right on Crime

August 31, 2016

Watchmen or Warfighters? A Conservative Proposal for Limiting Military-Grade Weapons Sent to States

| August 31, 2016

In this new report for the Center for Effective Justice, Derek Cohen, Greg Glod, and Michael Haugen examine the Department of Defense's 1033 program, which provides surplus military equipment—including weaponry—to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Over $124 million worth of such gear has been distributed to various law enf...

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Right on Crime

August 30, 2016

School Discipline in Texas: Past, Present, and Future

| August 30, 2016

In this new white paper for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, our analyst Dianna Muldrow examines school discipline practices in Texas, arguing that despite recent improvements—such as decriminalizing truancy—the state should continue to improve the process by examining mandatory discipline, and considering alternative methods such as restora...

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Right on Crime

July 22, 2016

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Accuracy in Criminal Records

| July 22, 2016

In this new report for the Center for Effective Justice, policy analyst Dianna Muldrow discusses the need for accuracy in criminal records, as a lack thereof can have adverse effects for ex-offenders when finding employment, obtaining housing, serving in the military, or owning a gun. Muldrow also recommends reforms to update records continuousl...

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Derek M. Cohen

June 14, 2016

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Texas’ Mandatory Sentencing Enhancements

| June 14, 2016

A policy product of the general “get tough on crime” era, sentencing enhancements enjoyed a great deal of bipartisan political support during the early 1980s through the late 1990s. Sentencing enhancements are statutory provisions that raise the minimum threshold of criminal sentence based on a certain characteristic of the offense or offender....

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Asset Forfeiture by Texas Law Enforcement

| April 7, 2016

While the abstract debate on civil asset forfeiture remains hotly contested in Texas, two elements often omitted from the discussion is “how much,” and “where” the practice takes place. Unfortunately, delineating civil forfeiture from that which occurs pursuant to a criminal conviction is impossible under current reporting law. Still, in...

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Right on Crime’s Journalists’ Guide to Federal Sentencing Reform

| March 10, 2016

Federal criminal justice reform may be the most important legislation that emerges from Washington, D.C. in 2016. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed a desire to make meaningful changes to federal sentencing laws. This guide will help you understand the background on sentencing, what is at stake, and what to expect this year and ...

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Examining the Myths of Federal Sentencing Reform

| March 7, 2016

[pdf-embedder url="http://rightoncrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/PP-Examining-the-Myths-of-Federal-Sentencing-Reform.pdf"]  ...

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Without Due Process of Law, The Conservative Case for Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

| February 17, 2016

[pdf-embedder url="http://rightoncrime.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/PP-Without-Due-Process-of-Law-The-Conservative-Case-for-Civil-Asset-Forfeiture-Reform.pdf"]There is little dispute among the conservative movement that criminals who would threaten the safety of our communities deserve to be divested of the fruits of their illicit enterprise. Dru...

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Right on Crime

June 3, 2015

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Overincarceration Of People With Mental Illness

| June 3, 2015

In a new white paper for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, mental health policy fellow Kate Murphy and policy intern Christi Barr present some of the myriad issues attendant with the overincarceration of people with mental illnesses in Texas, and make recommendations for both local and state governments to encourage alternatives when feasible. ...

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Perspective: The True Cost of Inadequate Community Reintegration of State Jail Offenders in Texas

| May 29, 2015

In a new policy perspective published at the Texas Public Policy Foundation today, some of the consequences of ineffectively reintegrating offenders back into society upon completion of their sentence are brought to bare. "The True Cost of Inadequate Community Reintegration of State Jail Offenders in Texas," by Kate Murphy, policy fellow in ment...

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Bringing Balance to Pretrial Proceedings: Solutions for Early Representation of Indigent Defendants

| May 1, 2015

Introduction In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in Texas prison reform. Prison, however, is just one component of the criminal justice system. It is jails, the front door of the justice system, that touch the most people. Nationally, there are 12 million annual jail admissions, about 19 times the number of those entering state a...

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Success of Justice Reinvestment Becoming Indisputable

| January 27, 2014

A new report released today by the Urban Institute highlights the efforts of states to reduce their prisoner count, crime rates, and impact on their budgets.  The Justice Reinvestment Initiative State Assessment Report analyzed 17 state-level reform efforts that have taken place over the last three years in states like Arkansas, Georgia, South Car...

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Right on Crime

January 10, 2014

CQ Researcher: Sentencing Reform

| January 10, 2014

In a report published by CQ Researcher, Marc Levin is interviewed about ROC and its efforts to rehabilitate offenders so that they may have successful re-entries to society. "...the majority of people in the criminal justice system can, with the right intervention, be put on the right track to being a productive, law-abiding citizen." Click h...

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Right on Crime

December 18, 2013

The Comeback and Coming-from-Behind States

| December 18, 2013

  New report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation and National Juvenile Justice Network: The conclusion of the Comeback States report made a case that additional reductions in youth incarceration were needed beyond those achieved in the 2001-to-2010 period. Reasons given for the need for further reductions included: the ...

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Right on Crime

November 11, 2013

The “Mens Rea” Component Within the Issue of the Over-Federalization of Crime

| November 11, 2013

John S. Baker Jr., William J. Haun of the Federalist Society discuss the Task Force on Overcriminalization's re-consideration of "the wisdom of enacting so many federal criminal laws." Click here to read the full publication....

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Criminalizing America: How Big Government Makes a Criminal of Every American

| November 8, 2013

"An estimated 4,450 federal crimes and 300,000 federal regulations attach criminal sanctions and penalties to everyday activities average Americans and business owners have little way of knowing are crimes. As a result, well-meaning, law-abiding American citizens and business owners spend innumerable hours and dollars fending off criminal prosec...

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New sentencing study released in Louisiana

| October 29, 2013

Today, the Reason Foundation, in conjunction with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy and the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice, has announced the release of “Smart on Sentencing, Smart on Crime:  An Argument for Reforming Louisiana’s Determinate Sentencing Laws.”  The paper, authored by Lauren Galik and Ju...

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State criminal justice reforms in action

| October 17, 2013

This new ROC infographic gives the facts about criminal justice in Texas and proves that our reforms are effective. Check out the infographic below and and click here to read more about state-level reforms. [Click here to enlarge infographic]  ...

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Conservative Leaders Support Right on Crime

Find out why conservative leaders like Newt Gingrich, Ed Meese, Grover Norquist, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Ralph Reed, Ken Cuccinelli, and many others have signed the Right on Crime Statement of Principles.

What Conservatives Are Saying About Criminal Justice Reform & Right on Crime

Learn why criminal justice reform is on the minds of prominent conservatives, elected officials and potential presidential candidates.


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.