Austin, TX — Today, The White House hosted a prison reform summit, bringing together leaders from across the country in the prison reform movement for a conversation about the importance of prison reform in the federal prison system. Right on Crime Signatories Brooke Rollins and Rebecca Hagelin spoke at the event, as did Right on Crime Director Derek Cohen, Ph.D.
The event builds on the President’s call for prison reform in his State of the Union address and the Executive Order establishing the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, as the President urged Congress to act on prison reform. Speaking at the event, Vice President Pence said, “This will be the White House that reforms the American prison system for the betterment of all the American people.”
Right on Crime Signatory Rebecca Hagelin with the Executive Committee of the Council for National Policy, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, and Right on Crime Director Derek Cohen, Ph.D. issued the following statements on the summit:
“President Trump and his team, led by Jared Kushner, are leading the way to reduce crime, lower costs, and to provide a second chance to those willing to make a change,” said Hagelin. “The United States of America is the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, and it is time for our Departments of Corrections to become just that – a place where lives can be corrected and improved. We aim to prevent more Americans from becoming victims, and to help offenders become contributing members of society, instead of a drain on our culture. Lives and families are too important to maintain the status quo.”
“I was impressed by the passion for this issue by the President and Vice President,” said Cuccinelli. “They have made prison reform a top priority. No administration has done that to this degree.”
“We commend this administration for taking the initial steps to make our prisons a more effective partner in keeping our communities safe,” said Cohen. “Paired with legislation currently moving through Congress, the results of this summit will help ensure that as the prisoners reenter society – as 95 percent will – that their risk of reoffending is as low as possible. The only remaining task is for Congress to fully pass prison reform legislation, such as the FIRST STEP Act, to empower the President and his staff to deliver on this vision.”
The summit highlighted the need and benefits of prison reform. Legislation on prison reform, titled the FIRST STEP Act, overwhelmingly passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, May 9. Sponsored by Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the FIRST STEP Act improves the federal prison system by providing reentry programming to help reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and give those incarcerated a second chance once they have paid their debt to society.
Right on Crime is a national campaign of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in partnership with the American Conservative Union Foundation and Prison Fellowship, that supports conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs. The movement was born in Texas in 2007, and in recent years, dozens of states such as Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, have led the way in implementing conservative criminal justice reforms.
Right on Crime has the support and works to mobilize the voices of more than ninety prominent conservative leaders who have endorsed the principles of conservative criminal justice reform, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Right on Crime spokespersons, please contact Kevin McVicker at (703) 739-5920 or [email protected].