Jared Kushner and Jeff Sessions, the worst remake of Pinky and the Brain ever, are reportedly having a bit of a quarrel over prison reform right now. And according to the New York Times, it helped to force the resignation of the head of the federal prison system.
Kushner and Sessions are of two different minds on changes to the criminal justice system, which Kushner has taken up as one of his pet projects, while Sessions would be much happier if Title 18 of the U.S. Code was replaced by the Ten Commandments carved into two big stones. The Times reports that Mark Inch, who was appointed by Sessions to lead the Federal Bureau of Prisons in September, was caught in the middle of this “ideological turf war” between Sessions and Kushner, and eventually got so frustrated by it that he quit.
Inch reportedly told deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein that he was “tired of the administration flouting ‘departmental norms,’” and that Sessions had shut him out of key decisions like policy, staffing decisions, and budgeting. An example of a decision that Inch didn’t like was a provision in a draft of the Kushner-backed prison reform bill which would have “scuttled” the National Institute of Corrections, “a clearinghouse for best practice and the training of wardens.” Sessions reportedly supported this, because why would anyone want prison wardens to be trained?
According to the Times, Sessions and Kushner agreed early on in the Trump administration that Kushner could “press ahead” with prison reforms but not touch sentencing reforms, presumably because Jeff Sessions really likes our racist justice system as it is and only wants it to get more racist.
If you’re entertaining the idea of giving Jared Kushner a trophy for doing one halfway decent thing, however, don’t (emphasis mine):
Prison reform is an issue of particular interest to Mr. Kushner. In 2005, his father, Charles Kushner, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations. He served 14 months in a federal prison camp in Alabama and then was sent to a halfway house in New Jersey. He was released in August 2006.
But the bill favored by Mr. Kushner has been criticized by some prison reform advocates as impractical — in part because of a lack of available beds in halfway houses. The prison bureau decided last year not to renew contracts with a number of halfway house providers.
And in a May letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the N.A.A.C.P., along with more than 70 organizations, urged lawmakers to vote no on the legislation, explaining that any effort to pass prison reform without including sentencing reform would “not meaningfully improve the federal system.”
Just your typical White House intrigue story with absolutely no likable characters whatsoever.