Opinion Forum

Prison reform marks yet another win for President Trump

Thankfully failure is not an option for President Donald Trump — that’s why the Senate is slated to hold a vote on prison reform after previously shelving the legislation.

In an unexpected twist, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has decided to put the FIRST STEP Act to a vote — a move that will finally allow Congress to pass Trump’s visionary prison reform into law.

“At the request of the president and following improvements to the legislation that have been secured by several members, the Senate will take up the revised criminal justice bill this month,” McConnell announced.

Trump has been a vocal proponent of the FIRST STEP Act from the beginning, and stressed the bill’s bipartisan support while urging McConnell to let the Senate vote on it.

While McConnell, seemingly initially harbored doubts about the legislation, and his about-face is far from spontaneous — it is a direct response to intense urging from Trump, who has made both personal and public appeals to the majority leader.

Without the president’s leadership on the issue, the chances of McConnell letting the Senate vote on the FIRST STEP Act would have remained slim, as McConnell himself acknowledged. As a master of the art of the deal, Trump, however, can be very persuasive when he needs to be.

“Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a VOTE on Criminal Justice Reform,” he tweeted earlier this month. “It is extremely popular and has strong bipartisan support. It will also help a lot of people, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our communities safe. Go for it Mitch!”

Less than a week after the FIRST STEP Act was declared dead by the mainstream media, the Senate majority leader changed his tune, pledging to put the bill up for a vote as soon as possible.

By pushing the FIRST STEP Act over its final major hurdle, the president has upheld yet another promise to the American people.

It’s no secret that our prisons are in desperate need of reform — politicians from both parties have been regularly promising to fix them for years, only to shift their attention to other priorities once the elections are over.

Thankfully, the era of broken promises ended in 2016.

For Trump, strengthening American communities is fundamental to American success. The FIRST STEP Act does just that by establishing job-training initiatives to better prepare prisoners to re-enter society after they are release.

This will not only help the prisoners themselves, but it will also make our families and communities safer by reducing the chance that former inmates will return to a life of crime.

At the same time, the new legislation creates a system of advanced risk and behavior evaluation to ensure that violent criminals who are likely to reoffend will remain safely incarcerated, while enabling those who display good behavior and pose no threat to society to complete their sentences in non-prison facilities.

President Trump has made upholding promises a cornerstone of his presidency, and his successful advocacy of the FIRST STEP Act shows that he won’t shy away from holding Congress to the same standard.

Dr. Alveda King is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and daughter of King’s younger brother, Rev. A. D. King. She is a prominent American author, pro-life and civil rights activist and minister. She is a Fox News channel contributor and once served as a Senior Fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. She is a former member of the Georgia House of Representatives and the founder of Alveda King Ministries.