Meet Rick: A Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform

In our second "Meet Rick," learn more about Rick's commitment to criminal justice reform on the Lancaster County Board.

Rick fights for Lancaster County's working families
Rick fights for Lancaster County's working families

When you first meet Rick Vest, it doesn’t take long to recognize his powerful commitment to criminal justice reform. Since his campaign kickoff in February, the former railroad worker and candidate for the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners hasn’t been shy about his plans to promote treatment and supervised release programs for nonviolent offenders in county jail. These expert-approved programs promise incredible cost savings and lower crime rates for our community. On the campaign trail, Rick is advocating for more alternatives to incarceration and voters are getting excited about his message.

Through this advocacy, Rick is quickly making himself known as a defender of Lancaster County’s successful community corrections programs. As Rick has traveled across his district, he’s discussed the importance of rehabilitation, supervised release, and restorative justice with experts, community leaders, and ordinary citizens.

When talking to voters, Rick has taken a firm stance on issues such as maintaining The Bridge Behavioral Center and improving our county mental health system. Another top priority is ensuring our County Public Defenders have the resources to provide their world-class service to low-income community members. Residents of Lancaster County are quickly learning that when it comes to criminal justice reform, Rick Vest is leading the way.  


While discussing his commitment to criminal justice reform, Rick credits faith, family, and fiscal responsibility as the inspirations behind his policy positions. “On the issue of criminal justice reform, I’m quite clearly guided by my religious faith,” Rick says. “Along with many others in our community who are driven by our beliefs, I recognize that our criminal justice system should shift away from ineffective incarceration and toward treatment and rehabilitation. If our community is to live up to its faith commitments, we must build a criminal justice system which is founded upon redemption, not retribution.”

“Families are the building blocks of our community and alternatives to incarceration will keep them united,” Rick went on to note. “Along with many in our community, I believe strongly in punishment for violent criminals. But nonviolent offenders are better served by expert help rather than time in lockup. We should all be proud of our community’s efforts to keep families together and we should push to expand these programs.”

In his conversations with voters, Rick often closes by noting the budget benefits of supervised release and rehabilitation. “It costs tens of thousands of dollars per year to lock up one of our citizens in county jail. Alternatives to ineffective incarceration are far cheaper, far more successful at reforming offenders, and far more fiscally responsible. Let’s spend our money on building the future in our community, not locking up nonviolent offenders.”

Rick has been hard at work fighting for these policy commitments. You might see him out knocking doors in his district or may even receive a call from him to talk about these issues. If you’d like to learn more about Rick’s campaign and join the cause, follow him at!

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