President Donald Trump on Thursday called for federal prisons to be cut to reduce the cost to taxpayers.
Trump’s plan would cut the number of people held in the United States’ jails and prisons from nearly 5,500,000 today to about 3,500 and cut the total number of prisoners from nearly 18 million to 14 million.
It would eliminate a prison sentence for first-time drug offenders, and also free up more than $100 billion to be spent on rehabilitation programs and programs that help people with mental illness.
In a speech to a conference of the Federalist Society in Washington, D.C., Trump called for the creation of new prisons, but the group’s president, Frank Gaffney, told reporters that the president’s plan will not reduce the prison population.
“It is very, very important for us that the United Nations has a serious commitment to reduce its prison population,” Gaffsey said.
“That’s one of the biggest issues we’ve got.
We’re very, really focused on that.”
The Trump administration has also proposed a $10 billion fund for mental health services.
Trump’s proposal would provide the money for about 100 new mental health centers in states that have passed laws to require mental health care.
The president has also called for increased funding for domestic violence shelters and for an end to the use of military detention in immigration court.
He also has called for an increase in funding for the Department of Homeland Security to increase border security and provide additional funds to states that allow states to enforce federal immigration law.
A number of other policy proposals have also been discussed.
The administration has proposed an increase of the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2021, a cut of nearly 25 percent in the minimum hourly wage for tipped workers and a decrease in the tax on medical marijuana.