Trump Creates Crime Prevention, Inmate Reentry Council

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Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner, co-chair of the new White House Council on justice reform, at a meeting last year with President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr

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 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.”

See also: Key Conservative Tells Congress: Pass Sentencing Reform.

One thought on “Trump Creates Crime Prevention, Inmate Reentry Council

  1. Methods to increase rehabilitation and reintegration into the community, and to decrease recidivism are widely known among those who have been engaged with the criminal justice system for years or decades.
    Education, even when that means job-specific training, is a big part of the answer, but is useless unless we can get the people who have been in jail employed. This frequently means restricting knowledge of the criminal past by members of the general public. Because they do not want to endanger children, they imagine that keeping former felons away from children is the best policy. The fact of the matter is that we make our communities safer by hiring felons, especially in areas where they will be constantly in the presence of other adults. Refusing to have an employee at a restaurant who has a criminal record is the most absurd thing I can think of. Those employees are closely supervised, by video surveillance if not by the physical presence of another employee, and the children are not (or should not be!) allowed to run free within the restaurant. What could be safer? Certainly not having them out in the restaurant as a customer or out wandering the streets!
    We need to keep the general public away from the records of those who have served their time. It is neither wise nor productive.

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