FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, January 20, 2014
CONSERVATIVE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM EXPERT TO SPEAK WITH IDAHO LEGISLATORS
ACLU of Idaho and the Idaho Freedom Foundation form a collaborative to urge legislators to take a fiscally responsible approach to criminal justice reform
Boise, ID—The Idaho Freedom Foundation and the ACLU of Idaho will bring a prominent voice on criminal justice reform to Idaho this Wednesday with hopes of getting their message to legislators that Idaho needs to reform its criminal justice system.
The Freedom Foundation and the ACLU of Idaho have announced a joint luncheon for legislators to address criminal justice reform. The lunch will feature Marc Levin, from the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Levin’s criminal justice work with the Foundation has been cited by leading policymakers as playing a key role in Texas adult and juvenile justice reforms that have saved $2 billion dollars in avoided incarceration costs and contributed to the state having its lowest crime rate since 1973.
Levin will address Idaho lawmakers and urge them to reevaluate the state’s overcriminalization challenges. Levin will also make recommendations that have been successfully implemented in other states, such as his.
Wayne Hoffman, president of IFF, is thrilled to have Levin speaking with legislators, and to be working with the ACLU. "The incarceration rate in Idaho is staggering. The state locks more and more individuals away for victimless crimes, at great cost to taxpayers. The system we have isn't working and it's time lawmakers took action."
The ACLU as a national organization has made criminal justice reform a key priority in restoring balance to the justice system.
“Idaho’s criminal justice system is in such disarray that it doesn’t serve its intended purpose,” said Monica Hopkins, ACLU of Idaho’s Executive Director. “We live in a state with one of the lowest crime rates, yet have among the highest incarceration rates per capita in the nation. This dysfunctional system deprives individuals of liberty, due process and ultimately costs tax payers more.”
The 2013 legislature appointed an interim committee through the Criminal Justice Reinvestment Act to oversee reform. It’s expected that this committee will make recommendations for legislators to take up this year.
The ACLU of Idaho and the Freedom Foundation will continue to work with legislators to ensure a fiscally responsible approach is taken in reforming the system.