Trump Uses Bully Pulpit To Support More Services For People Leaving Prisons Prisoners advocates expressed optimism after a White House meeting with the president. But the bipartisan effort to overhaul the way criminals are punished has downsized its goals in the Trump era.


Trump Uses Bully Pulpit To Support More Services For People Leaving Prisons

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Now along with border security, the president made law and order a central focus of his presidential campaign. And yesterday, President Trump said he wants to do more to help people who are leaving prison. NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson has more.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: President Trump considers law enforcement officers among his closest political allies. He says his administration will keep working to reduce crime and put dangerous people behind bars. But Trump says the prison system can be improved.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We'll be very tough on crime, but we will provide a ladder of opportunity for the future.

JOHNSON: The president says the government needs to help inmates who struggle when they leave prison. The numbers are stark. About two-thirds of the 650,000 people released from prison every year are arrested again within three years.


TRUMP: We can help break this vicious cycle through job training - very important - job training, mentoring and drug addiction treatment.

JOHNSON: White House aide Jared Kushner, whose father served prison time, has led the way on these issues for months. But Congress has failed to act on broader measures that would cut prison terms for drug offenders. And it's not clear lawmakers will want to address the issue in 2018, a midterm election year. At the Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been reluctant, too. In the U.S. Senate, Sessions supported stiff punishments for criminals. On Thursday, he suggested he might be willing to compromise on modest ideas like job training. Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington.

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