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


On behalf of our signatories and staff, welcome to Right on Crime, the nation’s preeminent conservative criminal justice reform initiative. Right on Crime is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in partnership with the American Conservative Union Foundation and Prison Fellowship.

Conservatives have long been known as champions of limited government and the rule of law, yet contrary to various popular caricatures, also recognize spheres in which government is necessary, and chief among them is public safety. However, conservatives also recognize that governments are uniquely prone to abuse personal liberty and spend resources wastefully. A challenge is therefore presented: how can we ensure public safety while still checking the power of government and keeping costs low? Learn more about what brought us to this point, then read about why conservatives should be leading reform efforts.

Our Statement of Principles forms the backbone of Right on Crime’s mission, and serves as a strong guide that conservatives nationwide can apply in achieving cost-effective justice systems that can protect the public order, restores victims, and reforms wrongdoers.

Much of Right on Crime’s success since its inception has been due to the leadership of our signatories—conservative luminaries known throughout the states and nationally—who leverage their expertise and experience to advance data-driven and empirically-proven reforms to the country’s criminal justice systems. Read more about what they and other conservatives are saying about criminal justice reform.

Criminal justice reform is a complex, multi-faceted area of public policy that has a wide array of challenges to confront, and Right on Crime has identified several priority issues—from civil asset forfeiture to parole and re-entry—that drive our work. Learn more about them here.


Open Roads and Overflowing Jails: Addressing High Rates of Rural Pretrial Incarceration

| May 31, 2018

The decades-long growth in rural pretrial incarceration has taken a toll on taxpayers and individual liberties. The latest research by Marc Levin and Michael Haugen unveils growth contributors and makes evidence-based recommendations to improve public safety while reducing the number of defendants held on pretrial detention. Solutions outlined in the paper include reducing the number of jailable offenses, expanding police diversion, and utilizing validated risk-assessments at intake, among others. Research...

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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, representing over 325,000 members of law enforcement, endorsed the bill.  This is unprecedented, and gave conservatives with any lingering concern over the bill’s suppo...

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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.