In another on-going effort by the Trump administration to reduce waste and improve the efficiency of the federal government, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, in an unusual move for an AG, visited the federal prison in Edgefield, South Carolina on Monday accompanied by South Carolina US senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott who both support the First Step Act. The federal prison reform legislation signed into law by President Trump in December 2018 reduces sentences for certain crimes and supports programs to decrease the rate of inmate return especially among first time, non-violent offenders.
The Attorney General said “We learned a lot today and it’s a very important part of the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system doesn’t end, the process doesn’t end when we get a conviction and send someone to prison.”
While looking at in-prison programs to help make the new law as effective as possible, Attorney General Barr said that “Part of what we have to do is help these individuals ready themselves for re-entry into society and we also have to make sure that we are reserving our prison capacity for the people who truly pose a threat to the community.” Meanwhile, a reporter wanted the AG to confirm a Presidential disclosure made on Sunday about including the citizenship question on census 2020.
The Attorney General responded to a question from a reporter “President Trump recently said you’re looking into different options when it comes to adding the citizenship question onto the census, have you looked into those and is an executive order possible in this case?”
He said “Yes. You know, we’ve been considering all the options and I’ve been in constant contact with the President ever since the Supreme Court decision came down. And I think over the next day or two you’ll see what approach we’re taking. And I think it does provide a pathway for getting the question on the census.”
Finally, with the first phase planned to take effect this month, the Attorney General said “We will also start releasing inmates who qualify for the credit that will reduce their sentence so they can be released right now at the beginning of the acts implementation.”
Includes reporting from WJBF -TV and the Associated Press