Several of our supporters have been sharing information with us about the recent presentations at the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) that were related to criminal justice reform. While PEP has no official position on public policy or advocacy, we are always grateful to see any discussions of ways that we can improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.

We thought that our blog readers would be especially interested in this quote from Texas Governor Rick Perry, as reported in The National Journal:

 “Prisons are going to be used … to teach (inmates) to be really, really good criminals, or entrepreneurs—the choice is ours.”

You can see a brief video below from Reason TV that highlights some of the other comments from the conference. We would be interested in your thoughts — please comment below!

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Comments
  1. I spent twenty-two years in the Texas Prison System. I was released on Parole, December 27th, 2011. All of my time was spent on the Wynne Unit, in Huntsville, Texas. Being older than most of the other prisoners, (I am seventy-one now) I had the blessing and opportunity to counsel with many of the younger fellows over the years. The opportunity is there for the prisoner who wants to better himself during his confinement. However, so many times I have seen the younger fellows get their GEDs, Collage Credits, go to Trade School, and even have a religious experience, and then when they have all of this learning and teaching behind them, they are repeatedly denied parole!
    So many times I have had prisoners come up to me and say, “Mr. Kreger, we have done all that you told us to do and even more, but yet, I can’t make parole!” If some of these fellows had made their parole in a timely manner, many of them would still be married to their wife and they could still be a daddy to their children instead of the children calling another man “daddy.” Many of the men have their mothers or fathers, brother, sisters die while they are in prison, then after doing all that is required of them to make parole, they are still keep in prison so they lose everything that matters to them and that is when you are going to have a problem with them.
    Yes, the opportunity is there for the prisoner to better him/herself but if you don’t let them out of prison after completing all that is required of them, then the System is defeating it’s self…Another suggestion I would like to make is this, there needs to be programs set up in the community to catch these fellows “before” they are incarcerated. Alternative programs are the key to help the overcrowding of our State and Federal prisons…
    Thank you for giving me this time and space to voice my opinion. God bless you and may God bless America…
    Sincerely and with Respect,
    David Wesley Kreger
    Dallas, Texas

    • beltzy1 says:

      That’s a sad picture you paint Mr. Kreger, especially when parole is denied for non violent or low level drug offenders. I’m sure that prison is a wake up call for many inmates but the fact that they cannot make parole, even when they are doing everything right, has got to weigh on them. I’d like to think that those who use their time in prison to better themselves would get a fair shake, but it appears that is not often the case.

      • Yes, it does hurt these prisoners and not only them but also their families as well. The family does not understand why their loved ones cannot make parole, they think that they are doing something wrong or staying in trouble all the time, but that is not the case. It is very heartbreaking to see these men lose hope. You can take a lot from a man and he can survive, but if you take hope from him, then you have broken his spirit and when that happens, well, what can I say. The only reason I made it was because of my study and application in the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith and that foundation was strong enough for me to survive until I did make parole after 22 years…Thank you for your comment and concern…David

  2. Anonymous says:

    David Kreger was sent by God in my son’s life. (Bryan Kelley) Thank you Dave for all you continue to do w/former inmates and current guys inside the fence, trying to do the right thing for freedom.

  3. Sherry says:

    I am so happy to see the change and be a small part of helping PEP be at the cutting edge of this positive change in the prison system.

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