« Two notable new additions to the Senate Judiciary Committee that should generally hearten sentencing reform advocates | Main | BJS releases "Prisoners in 2016" reporting another drop in state and federal prison populations in 2016 »

January 10, 2018

Interesting report of plans for Prez Trump to hold a "listening session on prison reform" this week

Axios has this notable new scoop about notable White House plans including President Trump under the headline "Scoop: Jared's policy push on prison reform."  Here are the details:

President Trump tomorrow will hold a listening session on prison reform, after six months of quiet exploration of the issue by senior adviser Jared Kushner (who turns 37 today).

Why it matters: The White House sees this as a conservative issue (save money, cut crime) that could get bipartisan support (spending for workforce development), heading into a midterm election year when it'll be even harder to get congressional accomplishments than it was last year.

  • Under the auspices of Kushner's Office of American Innovation, administration officials have met with faith-based leaders, former inmates who have been rehabilitated, conservative leaders, and experts on the issue.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions will join Thursday's session.
  • Jared and his wife, Ivanka Trump, held a dinner discussion at their home, including Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
  • The administration is exploring possible legislative proposals and administrative actions. An early step could include a push for public awareness involving churches.
  • The issue came up during this weekend's Camp David meeting with GOP congressional leaders.

Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden, a longtime champion of the issue, told me he has been impressed with Kushner's passion, and that the approach the administration is exploring "has been showed to markedly reduce recidivism."

Jared Kushner's interest and "passion" for criminal justice reform is not big or new news, but the direct involvement of President Trump and Attorney General Sessions in talks about possible federal reforms does strike me as big news. It is worth watching as the rest of this week unfolds whether and how the White House or the Prez himself speaks about this planned meeting (either before or after it takes place).  I am still not prepared to assert that significant federal statutory sentencing reform is becoming likely, but this reported meeting seems like a good and important sign.

January 10, 2018 at 09:50 AM | Permalink


Prisoners will become valued rarity, as all pass away on opiates.

If you want to drop crime, promote patriarchal family formation, especially among American blacks. African immigrants have low crime rates, and better economic performance than whites. So melanin skin levels are ot a factor in crime. Africans have intact families, are religious. They appreciate and love this country. They are more likely to vote for the Republican Party.

Stop paying for bastardy by cutting off benefits to females who are married but still poor. Although I believe only in incapacitation as a benefit of the criminal law, a released father, reuniting with his family can prevent his sons from ending up in prison. This is true only if he is now having a regular life, is not using, nor doing crime. If he is using, is doing crime, it is an unmitigated catastrophe for his sons. They are better off without him entirely.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 10, 2018 10:56:11 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB