In the wake of the most recent economic collapse, one of the leading gurus of the free market, Alan Greenspan, was forced to admit that he may have been mistaken, even though he remains
faithful to the idea of a free market (Clark and Treanor, 2008). Many of the causes of the most recent collapse of the economic system have been laid on the doorstep of staunch free market supporters. (Clark and Treanor, 2008). Yet ALEC and other conservative think tanks (e.g.,
American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation) continue to center every proposal for societal reform around the use of the free market. This includes the criminal justice system; as so many conservatives support free market solutions such as private prisons (Selman and Leighton, 2010) and commercial bail.
In the final analysis, ALEC is like most lobbying organizations: they provide expertise on free market solutions to social problems. Instead of targeting members of Congress however, they target state legislators. In this sense they may have even more influence when it comes to crime control policies since most policies are found at the state level.
How good is the news coverage of what is going on in your state capital? Ever turn on the local news and hear about what is going on in Pierre, St. Paul or Tallahassee? I have to dig to find out what is going on Sacramento. That’s another reason why you never hear about ALEC.