President Donald Trump on Friday called on Congress to pass a prison reform bill as legislation, saying, "send a bill to my desk. I will sign it," at a White House summit on the issue.
"Prison reform is an issue that unites people from across the political spectrum. It's an amazing thing. Our whole nation benefits if former inmates are able to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens," Trump said in his address.
"Unfortunately, more than one-third of former federal prison inmates and more than three-quarters of state prisoners will be rearrested again within five years," he continued. "Nobody wins when former prisoners fail to adjust to life outside, or worse, end up back behind bars. We want former inmates to find a path to success so they can support their families and support their communities."
Trump added that although his administration wants to help, "we are not just absolving prisoners of their central role in their own rehabilitation. There is no substitute for personal accountability, and there is no tolerance for those who take advantage of society's generosity to prey upon the innocent."
He later made a reference to the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, which was sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and introduced last year. The House Judiciary Committee planned to schedule a vote last month, but postponed at the last minute, according to Politico, who notes that the bill had been championed by Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
"As we speak, legislation is working through Congress to reform our federal prisons," Trump said on Friday. "My administration strongly supports these efforts, and I urge the House and Senate to get together… to work out their differences. Get a bill to my desk. I will sign it, and it's going to be strong, it's going to be good, it's going to be what everybody wants."
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