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Kentucky Justice Secretary Tilley talks criminal justice reform at White House on Friday


Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley traveled to Washington, D.C., on Friday as part of a Prison Reform Summit hosted by the White House, where he spoke as one of several leading experts on reentry programs for inmates.

President Donald Trump organized the summit in support of efforts to lower the nation’s prison population, improve prison conditions and strengthen programs that help inmates successfully reintegrate back into society. The event brought together dozens of policy experts from across the county.

John Tilley

Tilley was one of several state officials offering insights into innovations in reentry. Over the past year, he has spearheaded a sweeping redesign of Kentucky’s Department of Corrections Reentry Division to focus resources on training inmates and connecting them with sustainable employment.

Under the leadership of Gov. Matt Bevin, Tilley has also led efforts to strengthen criminal justice in Kentucky through data-driven policy aimed at lowering recidivism and reducing barriers to employment as inmates return home.

“Stronger reentry means less crime and fewer victims,” Tilley said. “It’s encouraging to see the White House and so many states embracing these policies, and I’m excited that Kentucky can serve as a model for others. Today’s summit confirms the robust, bipartisan support for transforming criminal justice.”

Vice President Mike Pence, during his remarks at the summit, recognized Kentucky as one of two states leading the way.

“President Trump has already called on federal, state and local prison systems to move forward with the best reforms, whatever they may be and whatever the source — public, or private, or faith-based,” Pence said. “Our administration has been inspired by states like Kentucky and Kansas that have already shown how reform can improve public safety and prisoners’ lives.”

Tilley participated in a session on reentry with several others, including Bryan Kelley from the Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program in Texas; Atif Bostic from Uplift Solutions in Pennsylvania; Tom Streitz from Twin Cities Rise in Minnesota; Beverly Parenti from The Last Mile in California; Alex Gudich from #Cut50; and Carter Burwell, chief counsel for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.

From Justice and Public Safety Cabinet


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