Last month, Avni Majithia-Sejpal, senior writer for the Center for Court Innovation, interviewed Right on Crime Policy Director Marc Levin at the ‘Reinvesting in Justice’ conference in Dallas about various topics within the sphere of criminal justice reform.
Asked about the dynamics of justice reinvestment in Texas, Levin explained that it’s important to make sure that “we’re getting a good return on our investment” with tax dollars:
“When we talk about reinvesting in justice, I think that we have to make sure that the financial incentives are right, that we’re not actually incentivizing the most expensive and often times least effective option [regarding meting out punishments].”
In regards to what it means to be “right on crime,” Levin stated that “we [conservatives] believe in limited government, and prisons are the epitome of big government,” yet also recognized that there are indeed people who need to be incarcerated. For those lower-level offenders that we’re simply “mad at,” Levin stresses the effectiveness of actuarial risk-needs assessments to identify possible alternatives to incarceration–e.g. specialty courts, drug treatment programs, community supervision, etc–that can yield better outcomes in terms of crime reduction, at a lower cost.
The entirety of Levin’s interview with Avni Majithia-Sejpal of the Center for Court Innovation can be found below: