It is important to remember the important justice reforms started during President Obama’s eight years. Pres. Obama advocated that the United States is a nation of second chances for deserving individuals. The following were two of his reforms.
The White House called for companies to join “The Fair Chance Business Pledge.” Companies pledged to delay questions about a job applicant’s criminal record until the interview. By banning the box on job applications, the job applicant, at the interview, would have an opportunity to explain his record, life experiences, and what he or she could offer the company.
In April, 2016, major companies including Facebook, Uber, Starbucks, The Hershey Company and Coca-Cola pledged to help released inmates find jobs by changing their approach to job applications.
“The Fair Chance Business Pledge” was crucial, since one of the major contributing causes of our high recidivism rate–the lack of jobs for released inmates. In 2015, the Manhattan Institute released a study showing that immediate employment for released inmates reduced recidivism.
This president was concerned about our mass incarceration crisis. The United States has the most inmates (2.3 million) and prisons in the world. Although federal inmates are a small percentage of our prison population, Pres. Obama made reduction of the federal inmate population as an example of prison reform.
Approximately 6,000 federal inmates, convicted of nonviolent crimes, serving excessive sentences, were released in November, 2016. Pres. Obama commuted sentences of federal inmates, who were given lengthy sentences because of controversial mandatory minimum sentencing rules. To be eligible, the inmates were required to have a good record during their imprisonment.
President Obama was committed to prison and criminal justice reform.
By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of prisonpath.com