Matthew Chapter 25 Verses 36-40, Jesus says, “I was in prison and you came to visit me … I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
These words, probably more so than any others, have helped define how conservatives, and those from the faith community, view the nation’s incarcerated. Judeo-Christian values balance personal responsibility with forgiveness and mercy. And the words of Christ, taken as a mandate for action, have driven the faith community and the Faith & Freedom Coalition to engage in justice reform.
America incarcerates a far higher percentage of our citizens than similar nations. In the United States, a staggering 693 out every 100,000 people are incarcerated. That statistic should worry anyone who cares about the size, scope, and cost of government.
America’s high incarceration rate takes a massive human toll by tearing families apart and making our communities less safe. U.S. jails and prisons resemble a revolving door with almost 7 in 10 inmates rearrested within three years of being released from prison, and 4 in 10 offenders are sentenced to return to prison, which makes the public less safe.
However, things are changing for the better because conservatives at the state-level are leading the way. Since 2007, more than 30 states have passed significant reforms designed to prioritize prison beds for serious offenders, reduce incarceration, reduce recidivism rates and contain costs. Red states like Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah and others have seen real results. Texas, for example, saved taxpayers over $2 billion while dropping its crime rate to its lowest level since 1968.
Conservatives are proving you can be both “smart on crime” and “tough on crime.”
Conservatives must continue to lead on criminal justice reform because our solutions have increased public safety, saved taxpayer dollars and restored the lives of both offenders and victims. Faith & Freedom Coalition will continue to work towards justice reform that accomplishes the following goals:
- Prioritize public safety resources
- Narrowing the net of incarceration
- Increasing public safety through effective rehabilitation programs
- Breaking down barriers in communities
- Ensuring prompt and fair outcomes for both the accused and the victim