President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner argued for "sensible and just" reforms to America's prison system in an opinion piece published Wednesday.
Kushner penned an article for The Wall Street Journal that laid out several facts related to incarceration rates and the impact imprisonment has on people.
"The U.S. has 4 percent of the world's population, but roughly 25 percent of the world's prisoners," Kushner wrote. "Federal and state prisons hold some 1.5 million inmates, and 6.2 million people are in local jails, on parole or on probation. Of the 650,000 people who leave prison every year, two-thirds will commit a new crime within three years.
"By reforming federal prisons, Congress has the opportunity to help give former inmates a second chance to become successful, contributing members of society."
Kushner said ex-convicts often face challenges when trying to find a job once they are released because they might lack job skills or because they could have an addiction. Those issues, he said, could be addressed within the prison walls.
"To help solve this problem, lawmakers can promote comprehensive and proven rehabilitation strategies," he wrote. "They include expanding access to prison work programs so that inmates can develop job skills."
Kushner used the opportunity to tout the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, which was introduced in the House last summer and is slated to be marked up this week. That legislation would require the Department of Justice to work with the Bureau of Prisons to help lower individual prisoners' recidivism risk through various programs and procedures.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., introduced the bill that now has 21 co-sponsors.
"Many state and local governments, in red and blue states alike, have implemented policies over the past decade that have lowered costs, cut crime and reduced recidivism," Kushner wrote. "The federal government should follow suit — and take the lead in adopting further sensible and just prison reforms."
Trump held a prison reform roundtable in February as the administration seeks to help prisoners have an easier time reentering society once they are released.
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