President Donald J. Trump Supports Legislative Action to Reduce Recidivism in Our Prison System
EVIDENCE-BASED PROGRAMS AND REFORMS: President Donald J. Trump supports prison reform legislation to reduce prisoner recidivism rates.
- The President has called on Congress to help former inmates who have completed their sentences to have a second chance to become contributing members of society and avoid subsequent incarceration.
- To that end, the Administration will continue to work with Congress to achieve important prison and reentry reforms in line with the following principles:
- Effectively use government resources to reduce crime, enhance public safety, and increase opportunity, thereby improving the lives of all Americans.
- Evaluate current incentives for participation in reentry programs and develop improvements that tie successful completion of programming to incentives while incarcerated.
- Promote the successful reentry of Federal inmates through the evaluation and implementation of evidence-based recidivism reduction and reentry programs.
- Enhance existing risk and needs assessment tools and classification processes to ensure all inmates are given access to recidivism reduction programs that meet their needs.
- Expand access to prison work programs to allow all eligible inmates who want to work to gain job skills while incarcerated and prepare for successful reentry into society.
- Evaluate and facilitate public- and private-partnerships that improve pre- and post-release employment opportunities for inmates.
- Prioritize funding and support for Federal programs that have proven to help reduce State prison recidivism.
- President Trump has expressed support for prison reform legislation to:
- Review and improve prisoner risk and needs assessment systems.
- Promote evidence-based recidivism reduction programs.
- Implement reasonable and compassionate prison reforms.
ASSESSING PRISONER RISKS AND NEEDS: The President supports evidence-based prisoner risk and needs assessments.
- Evidence-based prisoner risk and needs assessments help better evaluate prisoners’ recidivism risk, or the risk that they will commit another offense.
- This reform would assist the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in reviewing the prisoner risk and needs assessment systems and develop recommendations for evidence-based recidivism reduction programs.
- This reform would also require the BOP to use a risk and needs assessment to:
- Classify the recidivism risk of each prisoner.
- Assess the risk of violent misconduct of each prisoner.
- Determine the type, amount, and intensity of recidivism reduction programs appropriate for each prisoner.
- Assign prisoners to programs suited to their needs.
- More effective risk and needs assessment tools would allow prisoners to be matched with recidivism reduction programming that meets their individual needs.
- Prisoner progress would be evaluated periodically in order to make programming adjustments as needed.
- Officers and employees administering assessment systems are required to be properly trained.
USING INCENTIVES TO REDUCE RECIDIVISM: The President supports new incentives to encourage prisoner participation in recidivism reduction programs.
- Good prison reform includes providing incentives for prisoners to complete evidence-based recidivism reduction programs.
- Potential incentives made available to eligible prisoners include:
- Increased phone and video conferencing privileges.
- Additional visitation time.
- Transfer to an institution closer to the prisoner’s residence.
- Larger commissary spending limits.
- More opportunities to access secure, monitored email.
- Potential transfer to preferred housing units, including different prison facilities.
- Rather than lowering sentences, the President supports reforms that empower prisoners participating in recidivism-reducing programming to obtain “earned-time” credits.
- Eligible prisoners could apply these credits towards increased time in pre-release custody, such as halfway houses or home confinement.
REASONABLE AND COMPASSIONATE PRISON REFORMS: The President supports reforms that would improve the welfare of inmates.
- Sensible prison reform includes common sense, compassionate reforms that would assist families and low-risk prisoners by:
- Allowing BOP to place low-risk offenders in home confinement for the maximum amount of time permitted when appropriate.
- Requiring BOP to develop a plan to improve access to medication-assisted treatment for heroin and other opioid abuses.
- Directing BOP to explore pilot programs to provide mentorship opportunities.
- Requiring BOP to make female-healthcare products available for female prisoners.
- Prohibiting BOP from shackling pregnant women from the start of pregnancy through postpartum recovery, with certain exceptions.