AUSTIN, TX – Right On Crime recently welcomed its newest signatory, Tony Parker, former Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Corrections with 38 years in the field of corrections and current President of the Fourth Purpose Foundation. Parker signed the conservative criminal justice reform organization’s Statement of Principles pledging to support a cost-effective system that protects citizens, restores victims, reduces recidivism, and prioritizes public safety.

“I am honored to support the work and principles of Right On Crime,” said Parker. “As Americans, we must question the return on investment we receive from the practice of incarcerating individuals when there is no focus on the most important aspect of the correctional mission, which is effective rehabilitation.” 

Parker adds, “When people see the only mission of corrections as being retribution, the true mission of corrections is lost and the product we receive is a broken system that recycles individuals in and out of our prisons resulting in high recidivism rates, increased crime and more victims.  Our citizens deserve the most effective criminal justice system possible, and Right On Crime is working hard to make that a reality.” 

“I look forward to working with Tony Parker and leaning into his correctional expertise and leadership in this critical area of criminal justice reform,” said Brett Tolman, Right On Crime Executive Director and former U.S. Attorney. “Our criminal justice system must be transparent and be held accountable at every step. As a prosecutor, I’ve put thousands of criminals behind bars, but when the majority are eventually released, how do we want them returning to our communities?  Public safety must be our focus.” 

Parker began his career as a Correctional Officer and rose through the ranks to Warden, Assistant Commissioner, and finally Commissioner. Mr. Parker was first appointed Commissioner in June of 2016 by former Governor Bill Haslam and was reappointed in January 2019 by Governor Bill Lee. Parker also currently serves as the President of the American Correctional Association (ACA).

Mr. Parker earned an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Dyersburg State Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee at Martin and a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies with an emphasis in Homeland Security from the prestigious Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California.

Right On Crime is a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation supporting conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Tonya Kerr at [email protected].

Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin that aims to foster human flourishing by protecting and promoting liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility.