WASHINGTON (AP) — An advocacy group is suing the Justice Department for not turning over records sought under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. The group says the records could shed light on the Trump administration’s dealings with private prison companies in forming new policies on incarceration.
The Democracy Forward Foundation, partly funded by Democratic party donors, wants to know whether the administration’s plans on prison reform may be influenced by donations and lobbying by private prison firms. Since March 2017, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, has led White House efforts to develop criminal justice policy, including changes to the prison system.
President Barack Obama’s administration had lessened the government’s reliance on private prisons, but a February 2017 memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned of a growing prison population.