WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Trump administration says it’s working to get people out of prison and back into the workforce.
“Giving people a second chance who have been incarcerated,” Trump administration Reentry Czar Tony Lowden said.
Lowden says the number of people in federal prison is down 15% since 2001.
“20 years ago, we were up 200,000 men and women in our prisons. Today, we’re at 158,000,” Lowden said.
The administration just launched a new website to help people freed from prison find housing, receive job training and gain educational resources.
“Whether it’s for veterans, whether it’s for those with mental illness, you’ll be able to see that we’re going to be doing those things — and are doing those things — inside the prisons right now,” Lowden said.
But some Democrats, such as Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, say the president shouldn’t be getting the credit.
“The president’s trying to latch on to anything that may have even the most tiny appeal to a particular group of people,” Cleaver said.
“It’s got nothing to do with Trump. It is what we have been doing in this country now for a long time, but it’s part of what this country has been all about,” Clyburn said.
But Lowden says the results come from the administration and that increasing cooperation with states will bring more improvement.
“We’re doing a great job with that. So, it’s working and we want the states to be encouraging and do it as well,” Lowden said.
The Department of Labor also announced they will provide $90 million through grant programs to help these people gain employment.