Every week in the United States some 220,000 adults are booked into county jails for everything from murder to marijuana and kidnapping to shoplifting. Yet, on January 1 in Framingham, Massachusetts, one offender become a story rather than a statistic. When Jason Duval couldn’t post bail, Judge Douglas Stoddard took him up on his creative offer of leaving with the court his new Nike Air Jordan sneakers he had received as a Christmas gift in exchange for his release. This case reveals how sought after this footwear is, but it tells us even more about what’s wrong with the pretrial justice system.
Marc Levin | All Articles
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Marc Levin is the policy director for Right on Crime, a national campaign for conservative criminal justice reforms led by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.rightoncrime.com.
Many Americans might be forgiven for thinking that, just as liberals often have a program for every problem, conservatives have a prison for every problem. However, conservative criminal justice policy today is charting a new course that is more consistent with the traditional conservative principles of limited government and personal responsibility. In conservative states like Texas, Georgia, and South Dakota, conservative policymakers have spearheaded statutory and budgetary reforms that prioritize prison space for violent and dangerous offenders while strengthening cost-effective alternatives that hold nonviolent offenders accountable.
Conservatism is not simply about slashing federal budgets or limiting the size and reach of government. Certainly, on the surface, these are the tactics right-of-center advocates use, but at their root, conservative values embrace the principles of capitalism and competition in order to produce better results on a more efficient budget for the taxpayer -- all while staying within the boundaries of the Constitution.