Presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has been holding meetings with faith-based leaders, former inmates, and experts to discuss prison issues. He is expected to report to the president in a meeting, with Attorney
General Jeff Sessions attending.
President Trump will hold a “listening session” on prison reform on Thursday after six months of exploration of the issue by senior adviser Jared Kushner, who turns 37 on Wednesday, Axios reports. The White House sees this as a conservative issue that could both save money and reduce crime, and could get bipartisan support heading into a midterm election year when it’ll be even harder to get congressional accomplishments than it was last year.
Under 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. The administration is exploring possible legislative proposals and administrative actions, although Axios gives no details. Several bills involving prison reforms are pending in Congress. 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, said he has been impressed with Kushner’s passion, and that the approach the administration is exploring “has been showed to markedly reduce recidivism.” The issue is personal for Kushner, given the former imprisonment of his father, developer Charles Kushner.