Submitted by Sarah on Wed, 08/12/2015 - 20:00.
Last month, President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, touring the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma. During his visit, he acknowledged that if it weren’t for the privilege of his family support, he could have ended up inside prison walls rather than inside the White House.
The visit capped off more than a week of speeches and announcements about criminal justice reform, including the commutation of 46 people who were given mandatory minimum jail sentences for drug offenses. The President also addressed the national convention of NAACP, calling for sweeping changes to the “broken” criminal justice system.
The President’s call is part of a growing bipartisan movement for reform. Last month, EJUSA’s Marc Hyden gave a briefing to staffers from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, and groups like the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, Right on Crime, the Faith and Freedom Coalition, and others are forming coalitions to work together. The need for reform is becoming a hot topic for celebrities, candidates, lawmakers, and organizations.
This is great news. But despite this broad spectrum of support, EJUSA believes the conversation isn’t quite broad enough.