Criminal Justice

Trump Administration Establishes Council on Crime Prevention and Reentry

The Trump administration has taken an extraordinary step to reduce both recidivism rates and crime rates. On March 7, 2018, President Trump established a Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry via executive order. The council will be comprised of officials across the federal government, including a member from the Justice Department, Veterans Affairs and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The executive order states the importance of the federal government’s role in reducing crime, enhancing public safety and increasing opportunity, thereby improving the lives of all Americans. In addition, the executive order provides that the federal government “should aim not only to prevent crime in the first place, but also to provide those who have engaged in criminal activity with greater opportunities to lead productive lives.” Furthermore, it provides that the federal government should seek to “prevent youths and adults from entering or reentering the criminal justice system.”

Strong collaboration between the federal agencies on the Federal Interagency Council on Crime Prevention and Improving Reentry will make for better policy. Further collaboration between federal, state and local governments through “dissemination of evidence-based best practices to reduce the rate of recidivism” is crucial for the purpose of data collection and seeing which programs are the most successful. This cooperation between all levels of government regarding reentry programs will allow for the most successful programs to be more widely implemented. Such programs include those regarding education, drug rehabilitation, mental health, work programs and mentorship programs.

The ALEC model Resolution on Reentry Programs notes that “96% of all incarcerated individuals will be released from prison.” Those programs that reduce recidivism, decrease the number of crime victims and increase public safety have the effect of making communities safer. Therefore, it is important that programs exist in prison that make people less likely to commit crimes upon their release. In essence, both the states and the federal government should seek to develop and implement sound reentry policies that promote public safety, reduce recidivism rates and offer offenders second chances.

ALEC members are committed to reducing crime rates and increasing public safety. Sound reentry policies help to accomplish that goal. Many states have reentry programs that have been successful at reducing recidivism rates. Now, the federal government will seek to build on those successes while simultaneously creating new successful programs. Ultimately, more reentry programs will lead to greater success stories of individual redemption, lower crime rates and safer communities.


In Depth: Criminal Justice

The American Legislative Exchange Council is proud to be a leader on criminal justice in the states. Since 2008, the ALEC task force on criminal justice has brought state legislators and stakeholders together to combat the trend of unforgiving and harsh criminal laws. ALEC members focus on new and innovative …

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