President Donald Trump will receive the 2019 “Bipartisan Justice Award” from a bipartisan organization of black leaders because of his work on criminal justice reform, the White House announced Friday.
The award will be presented at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina by the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a group founded by twenty black Republicans and twenty black Democrats in 2015.
According to a press release from the White House:
“The Bipartisan Justice Award is the highest honor given annually to a public servant who has demonstrated the ability to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress in reforming our criminal justice system. The 2019 Bipartisan Justice award winner is President Donald J. Trump for his Bipartisan leadership in the passage of the historic First Step Act. The award is being given by the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, a non-profit organization founded by 20 Black Republicans and 20 Black Democrats in 2015, to elevate the issue of criminal justice reform above partisan politics.”
The award ceremony will reportedly take place during the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, at which multiple Democratic presidential candidates are scheduled to appear to discuss their plans to tackle criminal justice reform.
On Friday, Pres Trump makes first visit to a historically black college when he addresses the “Second Step” forum on criminal justice reform at Benedict College in Columbia, SC. He speaks on Friday. The Democratic presidential candidates invited over the weekend.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 25, 2019
The following Democrats are set to attend the forum: Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as well as Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. (RELATED: Kim Kardashian Praises President Trump For Prison Reform)
The 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center has previously celebrated the First Step Act, a major piece of criminal justice reform legislation passed in late 2018. The act, which was championed by Trump and received overwhelming bipartisan support, aims to reduce prison recidivism rates by providing benefits to prisoners who participate in programs and expands early release for elderly individuals and non-violent offenders.
The Bipartisan Justice Center has previously issued criminal justice awards to Democratic New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Republican Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, and others.