- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The White House on Tuesday said President Biden enjoyed visiting the Michigan district of Rep. Rashida Tlaib earlier this month but he does not support a proposal that she and other members of the progressive “Squad” are championing to release federal prisoners within 10 years.

“Let me be absolutely clear. The president does not support abolishing prisons,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. “He does not support defunding the police. He thinks measures like that will make us less safe and he would not support legislation that includes it.”

Ms. Psaki said Mr. Biden does support “effective and accountable community policing” and a “fair justice system” and investments in things like public health, education and housing to try and reduce crime.

Ms. Tlaib was recently pressed on the sweeping “BREATHE Act” proposal — drafted by the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives — in an Axios interview, particularly whether there are some people who need to remain locked up.

The congresswoman noted many prisoners struggle with mental illness or substance abuse but acknowledged there are categories of serious offenders who should remain behind bars.

“Obviously there’s a process of looking at how we can get away from mass incarceration and move toward care first,” she told Axios.

“I would have to look at every case individually and figure all of that out,” she said. “Everyone in jail is not the same.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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