Kushner hosts first forum on prison reform at White House

Kushner, whose father was imprisoned, wants to focus on rehabilitation.

He also said the chief mission of his work on prison reform, which is part of Kushner’s ambitious portfolio of policy priorities, is to help define the purpose of a prison.

“Is the purpose to punish, is the purpose to warehouse, or is the purpose to rehabilitate?” he asked.

Many advocates would prefer that the Trump administration were taking a more holistic view and addressing the broader issues of criminal justice and sentencing reform, not focus more narrowly on only prison reform.

But Kushner said the administration can build credibility on the issue if they accumulate smaller successes first.

“If we can start showing we can make the prisons more purposeful and more effective at lowering the recidivism rate over time, that may help the people who are trying to make the argument for sentencing reform,” he said.