President Trump promised Tuesday his administration will pursue reforms to the federal prison system.
"As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens," Trump said during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. "That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance."
This is a change from prior speeches from Trump, who has touted his tough-on-crime rhetoric.
However, the White House has held roundtables spearheaded by adviser Jared Kushner to discuss prison reform and re-entry with conservative criminal justice reform advocates.
“We applaud the president for acknowledging the need to change our policies and expectations around prisons, which are failing to equip individuals to successfully return to society and succeed,” Mark Holden, general counsel of Koch Industries, told the Washington Examiner. “The president’s support for this idea is very encouraging and we look forward to continuing to work with the White House, the administration, members of Congress and states to make this vision a reality nationwide.”
Koch Industries is a a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform.
Criminal justice reform came back with such renewed energy this year after sputtering out in Congress in 2016 that meaningful bipartisan legislation is poised for success in 2018, the Washington Examiner previously reported.