President Obama Just Sent A Powerful Message About Mass Incarceration
The United States makes up just 5 percent of the global population, but possesses 25 percent of all the world's prisoners.
Indeed, America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and it continues to have a detrimental impact across the country.
Mass incarceration in the US is intrinsically linked to the war on drugs and the Draconian laws surrounding it, particularly mandatory minimum sentencing.
There are currently people serving life sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, for example.
President Obama is making a concerted effort to address this, and he's making history in the process.
On Thursday, he commuted the sentences of 58 individuals, and published a post on Medium explaining what motivated him to do so.
The president wrote,
All of the individuals the president granted clemency to were serving time for nonviolent drug crimes, including 18 who were serving life sentences over primarily crack or cocaine-related crimes, according to The Hill. Most of the inmates will reportedly be released on September 2, and others early next year.
The president just sent the country a very powerful message about the desperate need for criminal justice reform. He also highlighted how important it is for us to view inmates as more than the crimes than they've committed: They're people first.