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


Kentucky Governor & Lawmakers Agree: Criminal Justice Reform is a Priority in the Bluegrass State

| January 15, 2020

Last week, Kentucky leaders on both sides of the aisle pledged to make criminal justice reform a top priority this session. This commitment is welcome given the growing prison overcrowding crisis. Kentucky holds the dubious honor of being among the top ten states for highest overall incarceration rates, and falls only behind Oklahoma for being t...

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First Step Act: One Year Later

| December 21, 2019

President Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20050 Dear Mr. President: On the one-year anniversary of the signing of the First Step Act, we wish to congratulate you and thank you for your leadership on this crucial issue.  Right on Crime was pleased to work with you and a bipartisan coalition...

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Notes On Probation and Parole from New York City

| December 19, 2019

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan described the Statue of Liberty as a “beacon of hope.” This icon of Liberty and Democracy has been a “beacon of hope” for so many people in our country and abroad since 1886. Last week, I saw Lady Liberty for the first time! Seeing the Statue of Liberty—taking in the sounds, the excitement, and the feeling...

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Randy Petersen

December 7, 2018

No Need to Wait, Law Enforcement Already Supports First Step Act

| December 7, 2018

The First Step Act is coming up against the clock.  For everyone observing its evolution into the largest criminal justice reform package in a generation and its growing bipartisan support, falling short of the finish line is an end that is unthinkable and even more unexplainable. On November 9th, the National Fraternal Order of Police, represe...

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Right on Crime

December 4, 2018

Filed Under:

There’s No Confusion Here

| December 4, 2018

This blog post, co-written by Joe Luppino-Esposito of the Due Process Institute and John Koufos of Right on Crime, originally appeared at the Due Process Institute blog on Dec. 4, 2018. The latest unfounded attack on the First Step Act comes from a group claiming to represent the view of federal prosecutors, who really ought to know better. Espe...

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Right on Crime

November 19, 2018

Prison Reform: Major Achievement for President Trump

| November 19, 2018

This commentary, written by our signatory Ken Blackwell, originally appeared at Townhall on Nov. 18, 2018. The FIRST STEP Act is the beginning of a transformation of America’s federal criminal-justice system into what it should have always been: a system that makes America safer. This legislation unites conservatives, police and civil rights a...

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Partners in Hope: A Journey of Second Chances

| November 15, 2018

This post originally appeared as a press release at the Badger Institute, our SPN partner in Wisconsin, on November 14, 2018. Imagine a prisoner reentry program where the mentors include an FBI agent and a former federal prosecutor. Or a graduation ceremony where ex-offenders are encouraged, cheered and hugged not just by family and friends but ...

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Right on Crime

November 12, 2018

Now Is the Time to Pass “First Step Act”

| November 12, 2018

This commentary, written by our signatory J.C. Watts, originally appeared at The Oklahoman on November 11, 2018. You would expect that in the face of midterm elections, the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation and the ongoing Robert Mueller investigation, the administration and Republican leadership would not be focused on much else. However, I con...

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Chelsea Murphy

November 9, 2018

Florida Bar Pretrial Panel Update

| November 9, 2018

The Florida Bar’s first-ever Criminal Justice Summit brought together a diverse group of leaders to provide in-depth education and discussion on key criminal justice issues. Attendees shared ideas and best practices to provide state leaders with potential solutions to the challenges they face. I was honored to be selected to be on the Florida ...

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“Just Do Your Job” Means Something Different for Police Officers

| November 9, 2018

Sergeant Ron Helus arrived at the scene of an active shooter in Thousand Oaks, California within three minutes of receiving calls for help and did what he was trained to do, what he swore an oath to do: he went in. Immediately struck by gunfire, he died of his wounds at the hospital a short time later. A tragic reminder of what “doing his job”...

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Right on Crime Welcomes New Louisiana State Director Scott Peyton

| November 8, 2018

Probation and parole officers are on the front lines of criminal justice reforms. They are required to wear many hats and are faced with mounds of paperwork and large caseloads—often more than 130. Many times, completing paperwork and putting out fires prevents officers from their mission—providing supervision and protecting the public and the ...

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Scott Peyton

November 7, 2018

In Louisiana, A New Voter-Approved Initiative Requires Unanimous Juries in Criminal Trials

| November 7, 2018

Last weekend we turned our clocks back one hour.  We moved back in time for a brief moment.  Today, in Louisiana, we have moved our “clocks” forward to a time closer to achieving reforms in our criminal justice system, with Louisiana voters resoundingly passing an initiative requiring unanimous juries for criminal trials. John Adams, found...

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When Mental Health Problems Become Criminal

| November 7, 2018

Recently, the leaders of the criminal justice system in La Crosse County got together to discuss the impact of untreated mental health on the local court system.  Startled by the fact that 40 percent of inmates reported some history of mental health problems upon intake, the community leaders used the forum to discuss what is currently being done ...

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Right on Crime

November 6, 2018

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Police Unions and Police Are Often At Odds, On Politics and On Other Issues

| November 6, 2018

This commentary, written by Right on Crime signatory Bernard Kerik, originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on Nov. 6, 2018.   It's hard to find a more awkward relationship between a union and its members than the one in the case of a police union. This was brilliantly on display recently in Arizona, where the Arizona State Tr...

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Right on Crime

October 24, 2018

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Apply Now: Web Writer and Social Media Manager

| October 24, 2018

Right on Crime is looking for a web writer and social media manager to join their team in Austin, Texas. Description: The Web Writer and Social Media Manager will be responsible for assisting the deputy director and policy experts for our national Right on Crime campaign. The Web Writer and Social Media Manager will create and coordinate writ...

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Right on Crime

October 22, 2018

Justice demands passage of First Step bill to rehabilitate lives

| October 22, 2018

This article by Right on Crime signatory Rebecca Hagelin originally appeared in Washington Times October 21, 2018. For only a few hours each month, she gets to be a mom. It’s one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen: A little girl rushes through the security entrance under the glaring watch of prison guards and runs into the ar...

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Katie Greer

October 19, 2018

Why Halloween is especially scary in some Virginia cities

| October 19, 2018

This article by Katie Greer originally appeared in Washington Post October 19, 2018. Fall: That time of year when Americans race down the aisles to snag all things pumpkin and hunt for perfect Halloween costumes. It’s also that time of year when criminal-justice policy experts poke fun at Chesapeake, Va., for trying to suck the fun out of H...

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Innocent Mississippians shouldn’t have to worry about having their cash or property taken

| October 19, 2018

Mississippi has repeatedly made headlines for reining in civil asset forfeiture, a practice that allows government agencies to take cash or property from citizens under mere suspicion. Despite efforts to instill transparency in a practice that is riddled with abuse, recent reports reveal state agencies are only partially complying. A few months ...

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Elain Ellerbe

October 16, 2018

In the Trenches of Reentry

| October 16, 2018

Over the 25 years of my work with incarcerated individuals and their families, I have had the great pleasure and honor to run into a number of what I call “reentry warriors.” These people were the early champions of improving reentry for those leaving prison long before reentry became the darling of policies and politics surrounding criminal ju...

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Michael Haugen

October 11, 2018

Scenes of Halloween in Chesapeake, Va.

| October 11, 2018

Oct. 31, 8:01 p.m.   A high, clear shriek rends the stillness of the night, as a chill wind settles over Dunning Lane. Though an occasional wail is to be expected on a night such as this—wily tricksters finding their marks during schemes long in the making—this one seems unusual. Icy. Panicked. Urgent. Now another. Farther off, but no...

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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.