Conservatives believe in justice. That’s what the FIRST Step Act is about: making punishments fit crimes, rather than filling prisons with otherwise salvageable people. The bill, passed by the House and now moving through the Senate, was inspired by successful reforms in conservative states like Georgia and Texas. If passed, it would revise sentencing requirements for non-violent offenders and offer rehabilitation programs proven to work. President Trump supports the legislation and will sign the bill if the Senate sends it to his desk.

As President Kay Coles James wrote in a recent column, “If we keep warehousing offenders without addressing any of the underlying issues that paved their path to prison in the first place, we’ll keep getting more of the same: people leaving prison even more hardened than when they went in, people who quickly fall back into their old lives and criminal activities, only to land back in jail.”

Because of your support, Heritage has the means to research policies that reduce crime and change lives for the better. Thank you for standing with us as we stand for conservative changes to the justice system.

Read President James’ Editorial on here.

Read Heritage Action’s Frequently Asked Questions about prison reform here.

What changes should be made to the justice system to reduce crime rates?


Comments (10)

jack iloff - December 14, 2018

There needs to be a cleansing of all government and government offices and governmental employment restrictions against those whom don,t believe in our systems we have the enemy working against our interests within our own government these individuals should be purged in order to put people in there that are on our side the swamp has spilled over into areas of national security we need a purging in governmental supported colleges and other learning institutions!

Richard Mondale - December 14, 2018

I was reading Locke. He said, ‘If someone has done a crime, then punish him so he wont do it again.’ I say BS. Government should not punish as it is too close to tyranny. Perpetrator should repay victim, plus all expenses for investigation and apprehension. Government should be HELPFUL. They should help the victim, and they should help the Perp repay his victim. This would embody the Grand Jury concept invented by the Framers of the Constitution. The only real change would be to require the police to confirm that some injury exists before they can start enforcement activities. Enforce responsible conduct rather than obedient conduct. Harm should be illegal rather than disobedience, in the Land of the Free, where the Citizen is the Sovereign.

Kenneth Oda - December 14, 2018

Some simple and logical way to improve prisoners:
1. screen for only the best candidates.
2. tie to “hands on” job skills that are in demand (cooking, cleaning, building repair, construction, mechanics, truck driver, ie Blue Collar jobs that require no college, just training.
3. find a real sponsor (kind of like AA)
4. Try to find female pen pals and hope to create some marriages, as marriage is the first step towards a happy life.
5. Release the Prisoner on parole in an area far away from his prior “stomping grounds”. Too many Parolees are dumped back in the same town, and they quickly join up with the same bad people.
6. Early Parolees must have a job waiting. Employed Parolees will quickly find the satisfaction of earning a living and new skills and will be less likely to go back to a life of crime.
7. Make presentable…….offer removal of .tatoos, no piercings, no dreadlocks.
conservative clothes, short hair, clean shaven, lose weight, etc.

David B, York - December 15, 2018

Is there any way to promote Christian principles in prisons instead of the prisoners from being radicalized by militant Muslims?

Ruth Lawler - December 15, 2018

In our church in Homer, Alaska, we have a couple engaged in Christian prison ministry. The response is electrifying. An older prison ministry in the Kenai Soldotna area is doing a larger work with great success. Everyone needs to be loved, and no one loves like God loves. The isolated, angry
prisoners need Christian ministries.

Charles Coleman - December 15, 2018

All rights are given in prison but all privileges should be earned by good behavior starting the moment they enter!

Dona Walker - December 15, 2018

Stop mandatory sentencing.

William Coates - December 15, 2018

End the government policy of secular management and religious pluralism. Our society is based on Christian moral and ethical principles. Those who do not obey them are counterproductive to society, even when they are in Congress. The ACLU and Freedom From Religion groups have way too much clout.
Most prison inmates are ignorant of those principles, and think the individual is the ultimate moral arbiter. Prison Fellowship has shown much lower recidivism among those who participate in its Christian programs.
Islam presents Mohammed as the moral arbiter, but his principles run counter to those that prevail in the civilized world.

Diane Jones - December 15, 2018

Stop Liberal judges from handing down slaps on the wrists. You do the Crime, You do the Time. If they know this; many would not do things. Now they know what the Hell, they aren’t going to do much to us. THEY KNOW THAT. the criminal must also repay for the crime. This is what is wrong in our country today. Soft on Crime. Political Correctness. We are Sick of it. Everybody is right no body but the innocents are wrong.

Lt/Col Allen E. Strasser, USAF ret - December 15, 2018

I believe that most of the unfairness and false convictions must be done away with by changing the rules under which lawyers operate. According to relatives of mine who have graduated from Law School they spend most of their education on how ” to get around” the law. Suspects are lied to and unjustly charges and prosecuted with REGULARITY IN THE US. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON THAT THE US HAS MORE PEOPLE IN PRISONS Than China or Russia. It is wrong and the way police treat exconvicts who are trying to get their lives turned around is a disgrace.
Police regularly lie and my experience as an elected official in three position in two states through five elections has proven this to me.In every elected position I have held at the town and county level in two states I have found elected officials stealing and all three were sent to prison and I was not even looking for them. We have twice as many police as needed in the communities where I have lived. My experience in 38 years of public service is that most Police are in a large entitlement program and do not serve people courteously and well.

I am currently writing a book about what I have seen and experienced so that people know what is going on and will become more engaged in what happens in their own communities. Apathy is destroying our Democracy and our schools teach nothing about how their local government works.

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