|President Trump congratulates former inmates who benefited from the First Step Act at the 2019 White House Prison Reform Summit|
President Trump on Thursday gave a commencement address to graduates of the “Hope for Prisoners” program in Las Vegas. Hope for Prisoners helps former inmates get back on their feet and reenter society after they’ve served their time.
“We are here to reaffirm that America is a nation that believes in redemption,” President Trump said. “We believe in second chances.” That means we want returning citizens to rebuild their lives—and to help us rebuild our country.
There’s no better champion for criminal justice reform than President Trump. At the end of 2018, he signed the historic First Step Act, which reformed outdated sentencing guidelines, expanded judges’ discretion in punishing non-violent offenders, and invested over $400 million in programs to rehabilitate prisoners before they reenter society.
Additionally, “we began a nationwide campaign to encourage businesses to expand Second Chance Hiring,” he said. “When we say Hire American, we mean ALL Americans.”
A booming economy has paved the way for more Americans to rejoin the labor force. Under the Trump Administration, and for the first time on record, there are now more job openings than unemployed people. All told, since the 2016 election, more than 7 million jobs have been added to our economy—far exceeding the paltry 2 million projected by the Congressional Budget Office before President Trump’s election.
The benefits of a strong labor market are widespread. Net worth held by the bottom 50 percent of American households has increased by 47 percent under President Trump—more than three times the rate of increase for the top 1 percent of households.