Recently, the White House has been signaling that it will not put support behind a bill seeking to abolish the use of federal prisons.
As part of a press briefing this past Tuesday, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, stated that “the president does not support abolishing prisons,” reported Axios.
these remarks from Psaki, which refer to and mirror those made by President Joe Biden, crop up after aAxios published an interview with Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) by Jonathan Swan, who made sure to point out to the congresswoman that a bill such as this would lead to the release of any and all persons currently in federal prisons.
As reported by The Daily Wire:
Swan pressed Tlaib on her support for a 2020 initiative aimed at reforming the criminal justice system and ultimately abolishing the federal prison system entirely.
“In 2020, you endorsed the BREATHE Act, which is a series of proposals to transform America’s criminal justice system and create, quote, ‘a roadmap for prison abolition.’ The BREATHE Act proposes emptying federal detention facilities within 10 years. To what extent have you wrestled with any potential downsides of releasing into society every single person who’s currently in a federal prison?” Swan asked.
Tlaib appeared to laugh off the question, saying, “I think everyone’s like, oh my God, we’re going to just release everybody.”
Swan immediately objected: “But that’s what — that’s what the act says.”
Tlaib pushed back, arguing that her support for the bill was based on the fact that so many who were mentally ill were being incarcerated rather than being treated.
“Yeah, but did you see how many people are mentally ill that are in prison right now?” she asked.
“But the act that you endorsed actually says release everyone,” Swan continued to press Tlaib on the issue, to which she replied that it would be 10 years before the federal prisons were actually abolished and those incarcerated would be released.
“Do you mean that you don’t actually support that? ‘Cause you used to endorse the bill,” Swan continued.
“No, I endorsed the BREATHE Act and looking at federal — the policies and how we incarcerate,” Tlaib replied.
Throughout the interview, Tlaib tried to insist that she just wanted to find an end to mass incarceration and stated that she understood that not all federal inmates have the capacity to be rehabilitated. Tlaib also criticized any Democrats who did not agree with her, such as Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and labeled them “Corporate Dems,” trying to claim that they were “influenced and guided by folks that don’t have the best interests of the American people in mind, so I’m fearful. I’m fearful that those groups are going to guide this agenda … It’s going to be the people that are gonna continue to profit off of human suffering.”