A First Step for Prison Reform

The Daily Signal | 5/24/2018 | Staff
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Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.

Recently, I attended the White House Prison Reform Summit.

Fact - President - Vice - President - Event

The fact that both the president and the vice president were at the event indicates the importance that the Trump administration ascribes to this issue.

And statistics quoted by Vice President Mike Pence explain why our existing prison system should trouble us all.

Vice - President - Year - People - America

According to the vice president, “Every year, while 650,000 people leave America’s prisons, within three years two-thirds of them are arrested again. More than half will be convicted; 40 percent will find themselves back where they started, behind bars. It’s a cycle of criminality. It’s a cycle of failure.”

The encouraging news is that we’re seeing a level of bipartisan cooperation on this issue that is rare in Washington these days.

House - Judiciary - Committee - Prison - Reform

The House Judiciary Committee has just passed a prison reform bill called the First Step Act that is co-sponsored by Republican Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Congressional Black Caucus Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

The bill was voted out of committee by a vote of 25-5, with 15 Republicans and 10 Democrats voting for it.

Panels - White - House - Summit - Obama

Moderating one of the panels at the White House summit was a former Obama White House adviser, Van Jones, who has come out in support of the First Step Act.

On his Facebook page, Jones called the legislation “A big win for men and women in federal prison.”

Point - Person - White - House - Issue

The point person in the White House on this issue is presidential adviser Jared Kushner, who deserves much of the credit for raising the profile of the importance of prison reform and for recruiting the broad base of support.

The First Step Act establishes new tools for prison management to conduct ongoing risk assessments of each prisoner, evaluating the likelihood of the prisoner recommitting a crime. The profiling...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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