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President Obama Continues To Stress The Need For Criminal Justice Reform

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President Obama Listening to inmates at a correctional center in Oklahoma.

In recent months, President Obama has initiated a discussion to help set the United States on a path to begin reforming our criminal justice system. In July, Obama commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders, saying that “their punishments didn’t fit the crime.” He also gave a powerful speech to the NAACP on the subject, and he toured a federal penitentiary, taking time to have an in-depth conversation with inmates.

The statistics are astonishing. More than 2.4 million people are behind bars in the United States today. The US incarcerates more people than any civilized nation on earth. The US has 5% percent of the world’s population, but has 25% of the world’s prisoners. To help put that in perspective, the US locks up more of its citizens than the top thirty-five European countries combined. The most shocking statistic may be the comparison of the US incarceration rate to that of Communist China. China has a population of approximately 2.5 billion. The US has four times more people in our prison system than China, even though our population tops off at just over 318 million. Either the US has the worst citizens on earth, or we have a system that is in serious need of reform.

President Obama’s remarks on the need for criminal justice reform are the focus of  a documentary titled “Fixing the System,” which premiered today on HBO. The documentary features video footage of Obama’s historic tour of the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, in July. The occasion marked the first time a sitting president has ever visited a federal prison.

It is encouraging to see President Obama working to highlight the need for criminal justice reform. But words alone will solve nothing. We need to see action. American citizens need to stand up and demand change. We need to make it well known to our elected officials that this is an important issue that requires immediate attention. Furthermore, we need to insist that criminal justice reform be made a campaign issue for the 2016 presidential election.


4 comments

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    That state of America’s prison system and the behavior of our elected, appointed or whatever officials should be a priority in every community.

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    As a fairly new minted US citizen (since 2013), living in New Hampshire, I felt so saddened and disheartened by NH’s thoughtless and mean policy towards drug offenders.
    This incident happened several years ago (maybe 4): A non-profit organization for young female offenders (staffed by former graduates and housed on the property of a local Lutheran church) had to close, because it was unable to pay the rent. The State of NH failed to provide the funding for programs aimed at court diversion and reform (available in Vermont.) Result: The young clients ended up in jail (a more expensive ‘solution’!)

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    The US prison system needs to be totally reformed because a convicted of murder taking the life of a human(s) or been convicted of strong arm robbery receives a lesser sentencing than an drug offender. Also if a person is convicted of animal cruelty their sentencing is harsher than that of a person that have committed a murder. The person that is charged with animal cruelty/drug offender has to prove themselves to the world that they have been reformed and worthy. They are being denied employment/assistance in order to better themselves, due to their prior conviction. So if a person is denied these things, then what do they have to turn to. They have to be given a chance in today’s society too. Life sentencing is very harsh. Then the country speaks of being in debt. In the prison system, from the top of the staff to the bottom, they tend to treat the prisoner like their animals. But they need to remember they are humans too and the table can change for them as well. They can be their the next minute or even a family member. Then their more drugs getting into the prison system by the workers. The motto: Is to serve and protect, yes their serving but doing less protecting.

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    Let us know also when he tours FEMA INTERNMENT CAMPS! Especially the one’s with GAS CHAMBERS! When he is going to answer for AGENDA 21 and the advocation of depopulation!. Who need’s to incarcerate? When money is saved by deathly CHEMTRAILS!, GMO’S, HAARP TECH, suspiciously working together in uniscent? This, I suspect is more of his “bull”, he’s “looking into”, that never gets done! Like all the other puppet lies he’s told and had 2 terms to do nothing!