Speed Reads

Another One Rides the Bus

Federal prisons director quits amid frustration with Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner

Last week, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Mark Inch, quietly resigned, and he was packing up his office last Friday as President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, unveiled his plan to reform America's federal prisons. Inch, a retired Army major general who had been appointed to oversee the more than 180,000 federal inmates just nine months ago, felt marginalized by Kushner in the prison reform plan, The New York Times reports, citing three people with knowledge of the situation. But mostly, Inch was frustrated with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose department includes the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Sessions had frozen Inch out of budget, staffing, and policy decisions, and had refused to approve his choice for deputy prisons director, the Times reports. But Inch also informed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein he was tired of the Trump administration flouting "departmental norms," and he was reportedly frustrated that Sessions was steadfastly working to thwart Kushner's reforms. The House passed Kushner's prison reform bill on Tuesday, but it faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

Kushner, with Trump's approval, has been advocating for legislation that offers certain inmates early release to halfway houses and job training to reduce recidivism. His main interest, sentencing reform, has bipartisan support, but Sessions and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are adamantly opposed, the Times says. A Justice Department official said Sessions was caught off guard by Inch's resignation. Former Bureau of Prisons assistant director Huge Hurwitz will helm the agency until a permanent replacement is found.