August 3, 2010

Fought for a Fairer Criminal Justice System

In August 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduces the disparity in the amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine required for the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences and eliminates the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine. It also increases monetary penalties for major drug traffickers.

Additionally, in July 2015, President Obama visited the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution outside of Oklahoma City, marking the first visit by a sitting President to a federal prison.

“If we are serious about solving this problem, then we’re going to not only have to help the police, we’re going to have to think about what can we do — the rest of us — to make sure that we’re providing early education to these kids; to make sure that we’re reforming our criminal justice system so it’s not just a pipeline from schools to prisons; so that we’re not rendering men in these communities unemployable because of a felony record for a nonviolent drug offense; that we’re making investments so that they can get the training they need to find jobs. … And there’s a bunch of my agenda that would make a difference right now in that.”

President Obama, Tuesday, April 28, 2015
A Second Chance at Life
Alton Mills received a life sentence for a nonviolent crime at age 25. His daughter Danielle Howell talks to him about being a dad in prison, and what his presidential commutation has meant to him.
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