“Families Are the Key to Successful Reform,” Says ACU General Counsel

American Conservative Union Participates in White House Prison Reform Summit


Ian Walters
Communications Director, 202.347.9388

David Safavian
General Counsel, 202.255.0775

Washington DC – Last week, the Office of American Innovation (OAI) held a summit on prison reform in the White House Complex.  Led by Jared Kushner, senior advisor to the President, the summit featured experts in corrections and criminal justice policy from think tanks, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations, including the American Conservative Union (ACU).

David Safavian, ACU’s general counsel participated in a round-table discussion on ways to improve our nation’s prison system.  “Forty-three percent of the men and women who leave our federal prisons wind up re-incarcerated after three years,” said Safavian. “Only a government program can fail 43% of the time and go unchanged.  It is time for reform.”

“The single most effective thing the government can do is to help keep families connected when someone is incarcerated.  Family support is an essential factor in determining whether an offender takes advantage of his/her second chance, or ends up returning to crime,” continued Safavian.  “Of course, security is always paramount, but if we are to slow the revolving door to America’s prisons, we need to make sure the prison bureaucracy isn’t unnecessarily undermining the role of the family.  Those family ties are the key to rehabilitation, and to successful prison reform,” said Safavian.

Pat Nolan, ACU Foundation's Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform said: “In his State of the Union message, President Trump promised prison reform, so that those who have made mistakes can get a second chance in life.  And the President is delivering on his pledge, not just by holding this summit, but by pushing Congress to approve prison reform legislation. Thanks to Jared Kushner and Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the author of the First Step Act which will reform our prisons, I'm confident we will get it done this year.”

# # #

Founded by William F. Buckley more than 50 years ago, the American Conservative Union is the nation’s oldest grassroots advocacy organization.