For Immediate Release: Austin, TX — Right on Crime today announced the addition of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to its growing list of prominent conservatives committed to public safety and cost-effective criminal justice reform as outlined in the Right on Crime Statement of Principles.

Right on Crime is a national campaign of the Texas Public Policy Foundation in partnership with the American Conservative Union Foundation and Justice Fellowship. It supports fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers from excessive and often counterproductive spending.

The movement to reform underperforming and wasteful criminal justice programs had its origins in Texas under the leadership of Governor Perry in 2005; its success has been duplicated and continues to serve as a model for effective policies around the country. In recent years, states like Mississippi, South Dakota and Georgia have led the way in implementing correctional reforms that save tax dollars and more effectively promote public safety.

Governor Perry released a statement to mark the occasion:

This week I agreed to join an initiative called Right on Crime. They’re based out of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and are focused on helping people understand why a big, expensive prison system—one that offers no hope for second chances and redemption—isn’t conservative policy.

During my leadership as governor, Texas shut down three prisons, and we saved taxpayers $2 billion. When I left office, Texas had the lowest crime rate in our state since 1968. My administration started treatment programs and drug courts for people who wouldn’t be served well by sitting behind bars. We made sure our parole and probation programs were strong. Most of all, we evaluated prisons based on whether they got results. Did an ex-offender get locked up again? Did he get a job? Is he paying restitution to his victims? In Texas, we believe in results.

Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have been at the forefront of conservative criminal justice reform. So I’m proud to join my friends at Right on Crime who have helped make Texas safer while shrinking government.

Governor Perry joins 80 prominent conservative leaders who have endorsed the principles of conservative criminal justice reform, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, current Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, and many others.

“Both Republicans and Democrats are talking about criminal justice, but very few elected officials have made the kind of impact on criminal justice issues that Rick Perry has,” said Brooke Rollins, President at CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “As Governor, he was responsible for the sweeping reforms that, in addition to lowering crime rates and saving taxpayers money, made ‘the Texas model’ on criminal justice—as well as the Right on Crime campaign—possible. That model is the great example we’ve been able to tout across the country. We look forward to his continued leadership on this issue.”

Rick Perry served as the 47th Governor of Texas, from 2000-2015. Prior to assuming that office, he was served as Texas’ Lieutenant Governor, Agriculture Commissioner and a Member of the state’s House of Representatives.

UPDATE (May 13, 2015): In a new video for Right on Crime, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry champions the group’s efforts to introduce smart, liberty-focused reforms to the nation’s complex criminal justice system. Watch the video below.


Available for interviews:

Marc Levin, Policy Director, Right on Crime  | [email protected]
Chuck DeVore, Vice President of Policy, Texas Public Policy Foundation | [email protected]

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Kevin McVicker at [email protected].