President Trump has launched by executive order the Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry. The president enacted the council with the aim of reducing crime while looking for ways to “provide those who have engaged in criminal activity with greater opportunities to lead productive lives,” reports Axios.com.(A similar Obama administration council had been coordinated at the Justice Department.)
The move is another step toward improving the federal criminal justice system, although many reform advocates, including Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), are not settling for prison reform without sentencing reform. Trump asked the council to produce a timeline within 90 days for ways to reduce crime and recidivism.
“We applaud President Trump for following through on his stated commitment to reducing crime, reforming our prisons and rehabilitating individuals who are hungry for a second chance,” said Mark Holden of Koch Industries, which has started a Safe Streets and Second Chances prison reform initiative.
The council will be co-chaired by the White House’s Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Assistant to the President of Domestic Policy Andrew Bremberg. It will include the secretaries of Treasury, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Veterans Affairs, and the Office of Management and Budge and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Inimai Chettiar of the Brennan Center for Justice welcomed the council’s creation but said, “there can be no real criminal justice reform without reducing the number of people entering prison. The President and Attorney General are attempting to kill bipartisan sentencing reform in Congress, and offering incremental reentry reforms instead.”