Jared Kushner said Monday that prison reform is “very close to my heart” because of his personal experience with the issue.
Kushner’s father, Charles, served time in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.
“There was one issue that was very close to my heart because I had a personal experience, which was prison reform,” Kushner said at CNN’s inaugural Citizen Conference after outlining the sweeping mandate he was given by the Trump when he took office in 2017.
Kushner opened up about his prison reform focus by arguing that it makes more sense to reform people in prison instead of keeping them in prison and allowing them to learn “how to become better criminals.”
Kushner, though, admitted that he had “one small problem” after he did his research on prison reform.
“I had one small problem, which is I hadn’t spoken to the President about this,” he said to laughs.
Trump did not campaign on prison reform, Kushner added, but – over time – the adviser said the President came around on the issue and “pushed us to see if we can be successful on the issue.”
“He also has a lot of compassion that not a lot of people get to see as much as I do, and this is an issue that really has his heart,” Kushner said. “I think he sees this as a fairness issue.”