Conservatives Say Reforms Needed: System Not Working for Taxpayers, Society or Rehabilitation

Aug 12, 2013, 14:07 ET from

Viguerie Welcomes Holder and Obama's Belated Embrace of Criminal Justice Reform


MANASSAS, Va., Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Richard Viguerie, Chairman of, today invited Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama to join him and other conservatives in a major push for criminal justice and prison reform. 

However, Viguerie cautioned that, "By waiting to take-up criminal justice reform until almost a year into his second term, Holder is playing catch-up and has little credibility on this issue."

"It was gratifying to read today that Attorney General Holder and President Obama are belatedly showing interest in reforming our criminal justice and prison system. I certainly welcome them to join the cause of criminal justice and prison reform that conservative Governors and legislators in Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and South Carolina have been leading since at least 2007," said Viguerie during an appearance on the Laura Ingraham radio program.

Viguerie, whose op-ed in The New York Times, "A Conservative Case for Prison Reform" raised the profile of what had been a quiet, but growing movement among conservatives by making the case that the current federal criminal justice and prison system ill-serves the taxpayers who pay for it, the society it is supposed to protect and the prisoners whom it is supposed to rehabilitate.

"Prisoners enter the criminal justice system for minor drug offenses or other non-violent crimes and leave with a Ph.D. in crime," said Viguerie.

"Conservatives will be especially pleased to learn that Attorney General Holder endorsed the idea of more local control and input in the charging of low-level federal crimes," said Viguerie.

"I hope the AG's new-found commitment to local control means that his Justice Department will embrace the community-based programs using free-market and Christian principles that conservatives have been advocating, rather than continue their existing policies of excessive mandatory minimum sentencing and prison expansion."

"Conservatives have been showing that our principles lead to practical solutions that make government less costly and lead to enhanced public safety and the well-being of all Americans. If Attorney General Holder is serious on this issue he will find a wealth of ideas that have been proven to work in the policies of conservative state governments," concluded Mr. Viguerie.

NOTE TO EDITORS:  Richard A. Viguerie pioneered political direct mail and has been called "one of the creators of the modern conservative movement" (The Nation) and one of the "conservatives of the century"(Washington Times).  He is the author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause and the forthcoming book, Takeover.

CONTACT: Bob Sturm, (703) 392-7676, ext 1144