ACUF Director Pat Nolan Provides Testimony on How to Improve the Federal System

Washington, DC, June 29, 2017 – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held an important hearing on criminal justice reform and recidivism issues. Pat Nolan, Director of the ACUF Center for Criminal Justice Reform, was invited to provide testimony on the need for change at the Bureau of Prisons. A copy of Nolan’s testimony can be found here.

Chairman Gowdy opened the hearing by calling attention to victims of crime, acknowledging that “What we owe most to victims is to lower the chance that they will ever become victims again.” Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) also provided testimony on the need to pass criminal justice reform at the federal level.

“The fact that Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) made this topic the first hearing for the full committee under his chairmanship speaks volumes,” said Pat Nolan. “I really applaud the Chairman. As a former federal prosecutor, Gowdy understands the criminal justice system, and sees the urgent need for reform.”

Nolan continued by urging the committee to look towards states like Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina for proven solutions. Nolan explained:  “These laboratories of government have shown that by reducing incarceration of non-violent offenders, we can devote more resources to reducing recidivism and targeting truly violent criminals. This is is the key to reducing crime and keeping our communities safe.”

“We should lock up people we are afraid of, not those who we are merely mad at,” continued ACUF’s Pat Nolan.

Finally, Nolan called for funding of addiction and mental health treatment, job training and education, and re-entry programming for offenders. These services have been proven to dramatically reduce recidivism. “Some will ask why the taxpayers should pay for mental health care or job training for incarcerated citizens. The answer is that it’s a lot cheaper to pay for these things at the front end than the $32,000 a year it costs to lock someone up after a crime has been committed,” explained Nolan.

About ACUF

The American Conservative Union Foundation (“ACUF”) is one of the nation’s oldest organizations representing grass roots conservatives throughout the United States. Founded more than four decades ago by William F. Buckley, ACUF works to advance our core values of liberty, personal accountability, and fiscal responsibility – all of which are impacted by criminal justice reform.

As part of its educational mission, ACUF also compiles ratings of every federal and state legislator in the United States. These ratings help the public understand the positions of policy makers, based objectively on their individual voting records rather than their rhetoric. Criminal justice reform votes have been included in the ratings in recent years. All ACUF ratings can be found at:

CONTACT:  David Safavian, Deputy Director at (202) 347-9388

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