“Without respect for the law, the best laws cannot be effective. Without respect for law enforcement, laws cannot be carried out. We must have respect, not only for the law, but also for the many who dedicate their lives to the protection of society through enforcement of the law.”
"I think they need to recognize, as we've tried to do here, that there are issues that transcend traditional party labels. There are things that are considered to be important by the electorate that do not necessarily hinge on whose idea it was. For our state, criminal justice reform is a classic example of that. It certainly bridged the party divide...I'm going to encourage the party at the state level to do that."
“We know from long experience that if [former prisoners] can’t find work, or a home, or help, they are much more likely to commit more crimes and return to prison. … America is the land of the second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life.”
“I believe we can take an approach to crime that is both tough and smart… [T]here are thousands of non-violent offenders in the system whose future we cannot ignore. Let’s focus more resources on rehabilitating those offenders so we can ultimately spend less money locking them up again.”
Rick Perry, U.S. Secretary of Energy and Former Governor of Texas
“This system [civil asset forfeiture]—where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use—has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses”
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
“There is an urgent need to address the astronomical growth in the prison population, with its huge costs in dollars and lost human potential… The criminal justice system is broken, and conservatives must lead the way in fixing it.”
Newt Gingrich, Former U.S. House Speaker
“Creating an epidemic of broken families by incarcerating mothers and fathers who are convicted of nonviolent crimes and struggling with addiction is unacceptable, and is not keeping with Oklahoma values.”
Mary Fallin, Governor of Oklahoma
“There are few rights that are more basic to our Constitutional system, to our culture, to what we believe about the dignity of the individual soul, than that government ought not come in and arbitrarily take the belongings of individual citizens.”
Mike Lee, U.S. Senator (UT)
“One key element of conservative reform is that offenders are actually held responsible for their actions. The thing that makes this different than the usual reforms from liberals is that this accountability leads to change in that individual that doesn’t blame society or an illness, but instead faces the reality: I’ve done wrong, and now I need to make good on it.”
Ken Cuccinelli, Former Attorney General of Virginia
"Our federal mandatory minimum sentences are simply heavy handed and arbitrary. They can affect anyone at any time, though they disproportionately affect those without the means to fight them. We should stand and loudly proclaim enough is enough. We should not have laws that ruin the lives of young men and women who have committed no violence."
Rand Paul, U.S. Senator (KY)
“The ability of ex-offenders to obtain employment after incarceration and become productive members of their communities is essential to reducing recidivism rates, but due to employers’ concerns about liability, the honest completion of job applications often results in ex-offenders being unable to find work.”
Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida
“When an innocent person is convicted, everyone loses. The guilty person is still free to commit more crimes, an innocent life is unjustly destroyed, and the legal process is a waste of precious resources. There is no remedy for a wrongful prosecution.”
Sidney Powell Attorney, Former Federal Prosecutor
“Every criminal deserves punishment, but incarceration is not the only form of punishment. Mandatory programs that work with offenders to get drug treatment, address mental health concerns, or find a way to pay restitution to a victim are all effective tools that decrease the likelihood that an offender will commit another crime in the future.”
JC Watts Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (OK)
“Our justice system is founded on the belief that everyone has equal value before the law--no matter what they stand accused of. Their human dignity must not disappear once they are arrested. When jails and prisons meet basic standards for safe, humane treatment, we uphold our historic values and make our criminal justice system more rehabilitative.”
Craig DeRoche, CEO of Prison Fellowship
“Without a conviction, the current [civil asset forfeiture] system turns our legal rights upside down. When assets are seized, the owners are presumed guilty until proven innocent. They have the burden of showing that their ownership of the asset was not the result of criminal activity. Otherwise, the government gets to keep the money…That isn’t just unfair. It’s un-American.”
Pat Nolan, Director of the Criminal Justice Reform Project at the American Conservative Union Foundation
“I think mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders ought to be reviewed. We have to see who has been incarcerated and what has come from it.”
Edwin Meese, III, Former U.S. Attorney General


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