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The Gazette

Marc Levin, Chief Policy Counsel, Council on Criminal Justice


“Crime can be an emotional issue, and statistics, if not presented in their proper context, can drive misguided policies that waste money and harm communities. As Iowans discuss the Republican candidates best suited to take on the challenges facing their state and nation, they should be certain that candidate policy proposals reflect an understanding of real problems and are based on programs that have been tried, tested and proven effective at increasing public safety while protecting taxpayer resources.”  

The Boston Herald

Micah Derry, President, The Adams Project


“Second-chance programs like the First Step Act cannot solve violent crime and criminal justice system problems alone. But combined with adequately resourced and trained police, community programs that address the root causes of crime, such as mental health issues and drug addiction, increased police presence in high-crime areas, sentences that are fair and proportional to the crime, and incarcerating violent and dangerous criminals, we can make our communities places where more people can lead safe, prosperous and happy lives.”

The Hill

Micah Derry


“The act is anything but a social experiment concocted by liberals in Washington, given that it was inspired by more than a decade of successful reforms in both red and blue states…it laid down an important philosophical marker in applying the principles of fiscal and personal responsibility to the system. These are two longstanding bulwarks of conservative thought.”  

The Washington Times

Micah Derry, President, The Adams Project


“The popularity of the First Step Act among Republican voters is rooted in its alignment with conservative principles. It corresponds with the belief that safety and security are best achieved through well-trained and well-funded law enforcement and accountability for offenders, and it actively provides opportunities for rehabilitation.”



“The Adams Project published a poll on July 6 examining conservative views on safety and crime. More than 80% of focus group participants supported the idea that a criminal justice system must allow incarcerated people to ‘have the chance to get the skills and training necessary to pursue a better path after prison.’ It also found that GOP voters responded negatively to messages that attack the First Step Act, noting that the provisions ‘almost perfectly matched’ or were ‘pretty close’ to views of 86% of Republicans.”

The Hill

Timothy Head, Executive Director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, David Safavian, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of the American Conservative Union

“The First Step Act has successfully kept its promises. As a result, other Republican-led states have passed similar legislation, proving that conservatives are both tough and smart on crime.”

The Washington Examiner

Doug Collins, former Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia


"[I]n designing the First Step Act, our goal was central to the Republican vision of a safe and prosperous America. We sought to increase public safety, reduce recidivism, and provide a pathway to opportunity for those who had made mistakes but were willing to reform their lives and behaviors. In doing so, taxpayer money could be more efficiently used to support our law enforcement officers and reduce violent crime. And we succeeded.” Micah's earlier experiences include serving as the Deputy Director of Policy & Legislative Affairs at the Ohio Treasurer of State, a Legislative Aide and committee clerk in the Ohio House. He still lives in Central Ohio where in his spare time he can be found either working for a 911 EMS system as an EMT or preparing for his next backpacking expedition to destinations unknown."

USA Today

Alice Johnson, Criminal Justice Advocate


“Education is crucial for helping justice-impacted people reach their potential, especially given that one of the most vicious characteristics of the criminal justice system is its cyclical nature. It's sadly very difficult to escape the system once engaged with it – the five-year rearrest rate for people released from prison is more than 70%.…To reduce crime, we must also help people break the cycle of crime and incarceration. It makes no sense to spend $80 billion a year to incarcerate almost 2 million people and then invest nothing to increase the odds they won’t end up back in prison. It would be like pumping all the water out of your flooded basement, then not doing anything to patch the hole in the foundation."