The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s nationally significant criminal-justice reform efforts were credited in a front-page Wall Street Journal story today on having spurred a national “conservative quest to rethink criminal sentencing and rewrite state penal codes.” The story is available in today’s print edition, and online here:

According to the WSJ: 

“The conservative quest to rethink criminal sentencing and rewrite state penal codes got its start in Texas … Behind the Texas efforts stood a conservative local think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and one of its top donors, a wealthy oil man from Odessa named Tim Dunn. Mr. Dunn paid to establish a center within the foundation in 2005 to focus on overhauling the state’s criminal code… Under the directorship of Texas lawyer Marc Levin, the policy foundation became the hub of a national movement as requests for legislative help poured in from other states. The center adopted a formal platform in early 2010 and took its campaign national under the name Right on Crime. It soon had the backing of a long list of conservative supporters, among them former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, former drug czar Bob Bennett and David Keene, until recently president of the National Rifle Association.”

“This story demonstrates what we’ve long understood,” said Foundation President and CEO Brooke Rollins, “that liberty-oriented policies prove their case right here in Texas – and that what starts in Texas has national impact and influence. At this Foundation, we are state-focused, and nationally relevant. With Washington, D.C., increasingly incapable of solving the problems of its own design, it is up to the states to explore and develop the solutions that work — and our work with criminal-justice reform and Right on Crime, as recognized by the Wall Street Journal today, is a prime example of that.”


For more information on Right on Crime, go online to or contact Olivia Gustin to arrange a conversation with scholars Marc Levin and Vikrant Reddy at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.

For more information on the Texas Public Policy Foundation, go to


Brooke L. Rollins is president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Marc Levin is Director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

Vikrant Reddy is a policy analyst with Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice 


The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.


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