State Prison Directors Honor Koch’s Holden for Justice Reform ‘Leadership’

State prison directors have honored Mark Holden of Koch Industries for his “extraordinary and consistent leadership on criminal justice reform.”

The Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) gave Holden its National Leadership Award at a gathering this week in Washington, D.C.

The organization said Holden’s efforts helped win congressional passage of the First Step Act, which was signed by President Trump in December.

“Your support, and that of other key conservative thought leaders, was instrumental in gaining the support of the White House, which helped get the bill over the finish line,” the prison directors told Holden. The group also cited Holden’s backing for “broader criminal justice reform efforts, including Second Chances for people leaving prison and state reform efforts.”

Accepting the honor, Holden said, “We’ve got to accelerate the reforms,” expressing the hope that Congress will pass legislation to expand the First Step Act. Also at the prison group’s session, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), who has been a congressional leader on justice reform, said that lawmakers are “missing opportunities” to advance reforms.

“We know what reduces crime and save money,” Scott said. He called on colleagues to abandon trying to fight crime with “slogans and sound bites.” ASCA is led this year by John Wetzel, Pennsylvania’s corrections secretary. The vice president is Oregon correction director Colette Peters.

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