By Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA)
Reason tells us that government poses no threat to law-abiding citizens — that local and federal authorities are primarily necessary to protect society from mischief makers. At the same time, the Constitution reminds us that government itself must be restrained.
A False Move on Prison Sentences
By Patrick Nightingale
Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania House approved a bill to reinstate some mandatory minimum prison sentences. These laws require one-size-fits-all punishments and prevent judges from considering relevant facts before imposing a sentence. The bill was strongly backed by the commonwealth’s district attorneys who say they can’t keep bad guys off the street without these laws. They’re wrong, and I should know. I used to be a prosecutor.
By David Safavian and Chris McNutt, ACUF Center for Criminal Justice Reform
Winston Churchill once famously noted: “One of the best tests of whether we are truly a civilized people is the temper and mood of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals.” Gov. Susana Martinez is facing just such a test in consideration of legislation that limits the use of solitary confinement in New Mexico’s correctional institutions.
By David Safavian, Deputy Director, ACUF Center for Criminal Justice Reform
According to the mainstream media, the fight for criminal justice reform is over once Donald Trump is inaugurated.
A few Republicans are even gleeful at the prospect of a dead criminal justice reform movement, arguing that it is nothing more than a continuation of the Obama agenda. Nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives groups are actively working on these important issues, and our efforts are paying off. Just last week, for example, Ohio reined in its civil asset forfeiture law.
Conservatives believe that the core function of government is keeping the public safe from harm within the constraints of individual liberty and limited government. We know it is the nature of bureaucracy that government agencies grow in size and inefficiency. The justice system must be held accountable for wise use of tax dollars just as it holds offenders accountable for their actions.
Crime is more than lawbreaking – it is victim harming. Victims should be involved at all stages of the justice process, and the system should aim to repair the harm caused by the crime whenever possible. Offenders should be held accountable to make restitution to their victims.