Trump Promises to Sign Prison Reform Bill that Could Free Thousands of People

Donald Trump speaking at an event on prison reform at the White House on Friday. He called prison reform an issue ‘that unites people from across the spectrum’. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP
Donald Trump speaking at an event on prison reform at the White House on Friday. He called prison reform an issue ‘that unites people from across the spectrum’. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Donald Trump on Friday promised to sign bipartisan prison reform legislation currently working its way through Congress that could free thousands of prisoners.

“My administration strongly supports these efforts and I urge the House and Senate to get together … work out their differences [and] get a bill to my desk. I will sign it,” Trump said at an event the White House described as a prison reform summit.

Trump called prison reform an issue “that unites people from across the spectrum”, as he thanked progressive commentator Van Jones and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner for their involvement in pushing for the bill.

The package, which would immediately release 4,000 federal prisoners according to some advocates, passed the House judiciary committee last week and is likely to be brought up for a vote early next week. The bill would also expand compassionate release, giving elderly and terminally ill inmates a path home, and invest tens of millions in re-entry programs. It would also end the shackling of women giving birth behind bars and provide them with necessary hygiene items at no charge.

Trump did not address the majority of the bill’s provisions in his remarks, focusing mostly on the elements that deal with recidivism and re-entry.

“Nobody wins when former prisoners fail to adjust to life outside or worse, end up back behind bars,” Trump said. “We want former inmates to find a path to success so they can support their families and support their communities.”

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SOURCE: Jamiles Lartey
The Guardian