Lawmakers near deal on prison reform, but want Trump backing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional aides and advocacy groups say lawmakers are close to an agreement on legislation designed to boost rehabilitation efforts for federal prisoners and give judges more discretion when sentencing non-violent offenders.

Aides from both parties say moving ahead depends largely on President Donald Trump. A spokeswoman for Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin emphasizes there won’t be an agreement unless Trump endorses it.

The House approved legislation in May to boost prison rehabilitation efforts. Senators are working to include provisions in that bill that would allow thousands of federal prisoners sentenced for crack cocaine offenses before August 2010 the opportunity to petition for a reduced penalty.

The legislation has attracted support from liberal groups such as the ACLU and a right-leaning group backed by the conservative donors Charles and David Koch.

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