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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.