Sessions’ Impact Strongly Felt at DOJ

SESSIONS MAKES SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES TO DOJ: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has implemented drastic policy changes in the Department of Justice that overhaul the policies and priorities set by the Obama administration, reported The Hill.​ Sessions has “rolled back protections for transgender students that allowed children to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity and rescinded plans to phase out the federal government’s use of private prisons,” called for “a review of reform agreements, known as consent decrees, reached with local police departments to address allegations of misconduct,” and “put ‘sanctuary cities’ on notice, announcing that grant money would be withheld from state and local governments that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities and turn over undocumented immigrants arrested for crimes.”

Sessions appears to be moving back to the “tough-on-crime” policies of the Bush administration, said Alex Whiting, faculty co-director of the Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School. “Obama moved away from that approach, and I think in the criminal justice world there seemed to be a consensus between the right and left that those policies, those rigid policies of the war on drugs and trying to get the highest sentence all the time, had failed,” said Whiting. “I don’t know if he is really going to be able to persuade the department to follow his lead on this.”