White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, whose father served time in federal prison, is expected to present his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, with his plans to overhaul America’s prison system.
Speaking with Newsweek, spokesman Josh Raffel said Kushner has been hosting meetings with members of Congress, faith leaders, prison experts, and even former inmates as part of the project for his Office of American Innovation. He’s set to sit down with the president Thursday, Jan. 11, to discuss strategies that will “equip nonviolent prisoners with the skills and opportunities needed for an honest second chance to correct their course in life and to return to society as productive, law-abiding citizens,” the White House said.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who’s been accused of quietly waging a second War on Drugs, is also expected at the meeting, according to the newspaper.
Kushner has reportedly taken a special interest in the issue of prison reform because his father, developer Charles Kushner, spent 14 months behind bars an Alabama prison after he was prosecuted for illegal campaign contributions, witness tampering and tax evasion. The elder Kushner served the last of his two years of his sentence at a halfway house in New Jersey.
Kushner’s push for prison reform policy is a far cry from that of his father–in–law, who has branded himself as the “law and order” president. Since taking office, Trump has worked to implement tougher immigration laws, roll back government assistance programs like Medicare and further militarize local police agencies.
News of Kushner’s project comes just a week after a bipartisan group of senators voted to revive the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a statute giving judges more authority to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes, Newsweek reported. Also, it requires the Federal Bureau of Prisons to invest more of its money into programs aimed at reducing recidivism.
There are currently few other details as to how Kushner plans to sway the Trump White House into softening its tough on crime approach.