We were excited to read that Grier Weeks has taken an interest in Right On Crime, our campaign for conservative criminal justice reform. We wish, however, that Mr. Weeks had contacted us for a comment before publishing his Daily Caller article. If he had, he might have found that we have more in common than he realizes, and he might not have misconstrued our aims.
Mr. Weeks suggests that Right On Crime is “amoral” because it “reduce[s] justice to a taxpayer issue [that] says nothing about your values and priorities.” This caricature could not be further from the truth. As we repeatedly emphasize at RightOnCrime.com, government has a legitimate role in ensuring public safety, and it must spend tax dollars to do so. We recognize that public safety involves several goals — deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and retribution — and we have never said these goals should be sacrificed merely to save money.
Instead, Right On Crime questions whether these legitimate goals are actually being achieved. We do not believe they are, and thus, we seek to better prioritize corrections spending. For example, Right On Crime has frequently emphasized that when it comes to non-violent and non-sexual crimes, tax dollars ought to be diverted away from prisons and toward supervised parole. Thus, Mr. Weeks’s suggestion that Right On Crime merely seeks “to cut spending for prisons, parole, and the courts” is muddled.
Finally, we want to address Mr. Weeks’s concern about a “rushing river carrying children from the child protection system through the juvenile justice system and into the prison system.” We feel exactly the same way that he does, and we write on the website that “[y]ouths who ‘slip through the cracks’ may remain in the criminal justice system throughout their lives even though some could have been saved by effective policies during pivotal developmental stages.” Weeks also writes that “any manifesto worthy of a major party or ideology would be built upon this foundation,” and we again agree. That is why “Juvenile Justice” is listed as one of Right On Crime’s Priority Issues — with an entire section of the website dedicated exclusively to it.
Again, we think that we have more in common with Mr. Weeks than he realizes. We wish he would have contacted us before publishing his article, and perhaps we could have helped him recognize this.
Vikrant P. Reddy, Esq.
Right On Crime