BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. — President Trump is publicly pressing for prison reform while his administration privately works on an agreement with Congress that would overhaul a bigger swath of the criminal justice system but may rile tough-on-crime conservatives.
Trump held a round table Thursday with governors, state attorneys general, and Cabinet officials on prison changes during his 11-day working vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
Behind the scenes, the administration and congressional officials are crafting an agreement that would add significant changes in the nation’s mandatory sentencing laws to a widely popular prison overhaul bill that passed the House earlier this year, according to two officials familiar with the discussions.
The deal in progress would add four provisions overhauling the sentencing system — legislation written by Senate Judiciary Committee members Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, and backed by a broad coalition of Senate Democrats and Republicans — to the House bill, which doesn’t touch sentencing laws and instead focused on reducing recidivism among prisoners, the officials said.
Trump will find resistance to the tentative changes from within his own administration, as well as his closest allies on Capitol Hill.