National Law Enforcement Summit on Crime of 2017 Testimonials

Law Enforcement Leaders’ calls for criminal justice reform are being welcomed by reform advocates across the political spectrum.

“Few voices are more vital to the criminal justice debate than those of the men and women we entrust to protect our communities,” said Mark Holden, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Koch Industries. “Today, the nation’s most respected law enforcement leaders laid out tactics that their decades of experience have shown will best reduce crime and unnecessary incarceration. The Administration and Congress should heed their valuable advice. Koch Industries views bipartisan criminal justice reform as a moral, fiscal, and conservative issue, and remains committed to advocating for comprehensive reform.”

“The Administration continues to fall back on retrograde policies that prioritize punishment above all else, despite evidence that such strategies are counterproductive to public safety,” said Inimai Chettiar, Director of the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. “Today’s Summit demonstrates that many leaders in the law enforcement community understand that the best way to ensure public safety is to seek innovative solutions that reduce crime and incarceration together. We hope the Administration and Congress will take their voices seriously.”

“The most respected names in law enforcement are uniting with leaders on both sides of the aisle to say we cannot repeat the mistakes of the war on drugs when it comes to dealing with today’s public safety challenges,” said Clark Neily, Vice President for Criminal Justice at the Cato Institute. “Criminal justice reform is necessary to stop the waste of taxpayer dollars and ensure that law enforcement can concentrate on what matters.”

“Law enforcement officials on the front lines can offer valuable insight about how to prevent and respond to crime,”said Marc Levin, policy director for Right on Crime. “We are pleased that so many law enforcement leaders have come together to support reforms that are working in states from Texas to South Carolina to hold offenders accountable and enhance public safety. We urge lawmakers across the country to listen to the commonsense voices of those who risk their lives to keep this country safe and have identified solutions that reduce both crime and costs to taxpayers.”

“Law enforcement, along with leading conservatives and progressives, agree that doubling down on old, ineffective criminal justice policies has not benefited our country,” said Holly Harris, executive director of the U.S. Justice Action Network. “Smarter policies are being implemented on the state level. The Administration and Congress need to realize that reform is already happening, and succeeding, in their backyards. We urge the Administration to stop clinging to failed policies and join law enforcement and conservative leaders in building a stronger, more effective system.”

“The law enforcement community is telling us it is time to stop using incarceration as a default, and time to be more prudent in the pursuit of justice. We urge leaders in Washington and lawmakers in the states to incorporate the law enforcement community’s lessons about creating a more effective justice system into federal policy,” said Craig DeRoche, Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Public Policy, Prison Fellowship.

“We are grateful for law enforcement’s help in improving the criminal justice system,” said Kevin Ring, President of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “These leaders know firsthand why lengthy, one-size-fits-all prison sentences are ineffective in dealing with low-level offenders, and why we need criminal justice reform to help reduce crime.”

“Whether in city halls, state capitals, or Washington, D.C., we hope lawmakers will listen to law enforcement’s advice to help reform our criminal justice system,” said Doug Deason, President of Deason Capital Services and Deason Foundation President. “We need a system that is based on equal treatment for all, prioritizes redemption and rehabilitation over punishment, and enables law enforcement to best serve their communities.”

“Too many low-income communities and communities of color are being torn apart by our overly punitive justice system,” said Hilary O. Shelton, Director, NAACP Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy. “We welcome law enforcement officials from across the country who have joined the effort to address our justice system’s problems. We urge the President and Attorney General to heed law enforcement’s advice, to pursue a smart and compassionate crime agenda.”

“As someone who served time in prison, I know that a diverse group of stakeholders is necessary to build a safer and more just criminal justice system,” said Glenn E. Martin, President and Founder of JustLeadershipUSA. “Having a brother who serves as a US Marshall reminds me that for reform to be effective, law enforcement must play an active and engaged role. Today’s summit confirms that many law enforcement leaders understand this responsibility and are ready to act. Moving forward, we must get new policies right and work collaboratively to achieve meaningful reform.”

“As a career prosecutor, I have rejected the false choice that we are either tough on crime or soft on crime. Instead, we must be smart on crime,” said Senator Kamala Harris. “Prevention, not over-incarceration is critical to that approach. Policy makers at all levels and from all parties should embrace comprehensive reforms across the board, from the pretrial phase to sentencing to reentry. I urge the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to listen to these law enforcement officials and get smart on crime by passing bipartisan criminal justice reform.”

“Given the political moment we’re in, law enforcement standing up to say we can reduce crime and incarceration together adds powerful momentum to the bipartisan push for criminal justice reform,” said Udi Ofer, Director of the ACLU’s Campaign for Smart Justice. “We hope that the President, Attorney General, and leaders in Congress, as well as those on the state and local level, will listen to law enforcement when they say reform cannot wait.”

“Our country’s police officers and prosecutors are on the front lines every day. They offer a valuable perspective on how we can—and must—improve our justice system. Policymakers should engage law enforcement leaders and learn from their experiences on the best ways to prevent and respond to crime, such as diversion programs, collaborations with mental health and drug treatment providers, and evidence-based initiatives to reduce group violence, among others. Law enforcement can play a critical role in advancing the bipartisan cause of justice reform,” said Jeremy Travis, Senior Vice President of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.