Trump celebrates criminal justice reform law

Months after it passed, President Trump is holding a celebratory event at the White House Monday to champion the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill Congress approved in December.

In the East Room, the president championed the “bipartisan” nature of the bull and how it’s helping people. Among those in the crowd was Attorney General William Barr, who expects to release the full Mueller report by mid-April.

The First Step Act is one of the few major legislative accomplishments his administration has achieved thus far, and garnered praise from the left and the right for its aims. The celebration of the bill comes amid a broader Prison Reform Summit. The law aims to give prisoners who exhibit good behavior to shorten their sentences, particularly for nonviolent drug offenses. It also attempts to curve recidivism, meaning the rate at which convicted individuals engage in further criminal activity upon release.

The president claimed that since he signed the First Step Act, more than 16,000 inmates have enrolled in drug treatment programs.

But the president’s proposed budget requests only a sliver of the amount of funding laid out in the legislation. The legislation calls for $75 million a year over five years, but Mr. Trump’s proposed budget only provides $14 million, as the Marshall Project first highlighted.

Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner helped propel the legislation last year, along with nonprofit and other outside groups, overcoming opposition from a handful of hard-right conservatives like Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas.

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