On the heels of last week’s Pew Report on Recidivism, The Economist has published an article on effective re-entry strategies, including Newark’s Ready, Willing and Able and New York’s Exodus. “Of the 301 people who completed the Exodus programme in 2010,” the article notes, “only nine went back to prison.”
The most important observation in the article may this one: “In 2008 George Bush signed the Second Chance Act, which hoped to break the cycle of reoffending and, at the same time, increase public safety and rebuild families (more than half of prisoners are parents). But most of the innovation has been at state and local level.“
Right On Crime has made this same point. There are areas of criminal justice reform in which the federal government may be able to play a modest role — and the Second Chance Act could be one of them — but criminal justice is largely a state and local issue, and real reform can only come from the state and local level. Conservatives are the ones who best understand the virtues of local control and decentralized decision-making, so they are the ones best-situated to push genuine reform forward.