Inmate Colette Monahan waits to be released from the Utah State Prison in Draper last July. Utah passed a measure this year cutting probation time for prisoners who get treatment for mental illness and substance abuse after they are released. (AP)

 

One of Jared Kushner’s pet projects is prison reform. I’m not an authority on the subject but I belong to a group that has a prison ministry (I’m not part of that ministry) and, in principle, what he’s trying to do is a good thing. We’ve gotten to the point where we’ve nearly made it impossible for ex-cons to get a job that enables them to earn a living. My county seat is a “prison zone.”  It has three state prisons and a youth facility, and the re-entry program is basically a handshake, a ride to the bus terminal and a small amount of money. Small wonder that the recidivism rate is in the high double digits.

Trending

The House just passed a prison reform bill, which may or may not see the light of day in the Senate. And one of the people working with the Trump White House to push this through Congress was Van Jones. Jones, if you recall, is the self-described revolutionary who was a member of the Obama White House who was forced to resign over his track record of making inflammatory statements. Just a few points before we move on to the main card event. If you believe prison should provide the opportunity for redemption and reform, then the House bill is a good baby step in that direction. If you believe that in this time of hyper-partisanship that everyone should try to make an effort to find common ground, then a bill pushed by the White House passing 360-59 is a good thing. And it got that bipartisan margin because of Jones and others like him. But if you believe that Trump must be opposed at all costs (and sadly, this group is not exclusively of the left) then Jones is a traitor. And worse.

Then we have the appearance of Oliver “make that a quadruple bacon cheeseburger” Willis:

This is fairly disgusting but it is who and what Willis is. He’s been like that for years and it isn’t likely to change. It also shows the willingness on his part to happily perpetuate an injustice rather than let the Trump administration get credit for anything (again, how very like our own NeverTrump extremists; take, for instance, the commentary on any of the pro-life steps Trump has taken.). I hope that this insanity dies down and we can return to some sort of normalcy where the actions of the administration and people working with the administration can be judged on their merits rather than knee-jerk opposition to Trump because he’s Trump. But I’m not holding my breath.