LANSDOWNE, VA - Prison spending is the second-fastest growing expense in states — behind only Medicare. There are currently over 2.3 million Americans behind bars. That is 1 out of every 100 adults according to the Pew Center on the States.
America’s swelling prison population makes it the world leader for the highest number of prisoners as well as the highest rate of incarceration.
This tremendous increase in prisoners has sent spending on prisons through the roof. We will spend $68 billion this year on corrections — 300 percent more than we spent 25 years ago.
Next week many prominent conservative leaders are announcing the Right on Crime campaign, a national movement to urge conservative leaders in state capitols to join them in supporting sensible and proven reforms to our criminal justice system that will cut prison costs and keep our communities safe.
Prominent signatories include Pat Nolan, a Prison Fellowship vice president, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, Asa Hutchinson, former Drug Czar, David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Professor John Dilulio, of the University of Pennsylvania.
For six years, Pat has helmed the effort to develop support among conservative leaders for criminal justice reforms. This hard work has culminated in the Right on Crime campaign. Such a large number of prominent conservatives supporting reforms marks a seismic shift in the legislative landscape, and opens the way for left-right agreement on the vexing problem of crime that has kept the parties apart for decades.
About Pat Nolan
Pat Nolan was Republican leader of the California State Assembly and is a vice president of Prison Fellowship, a national Christian organization that ministers to prisoners and their families.
RightOnCrime.com is the one-stop source for conservative ideas on criminal justice. RightOnCrime.com is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a research institute in Austin, TX committed to limited government, free markets, private property rights, individual liberty and personal responsibility.