Obama to visit federal prison in push for reform

Jul 16, 2015 12:43 PM by NBC News

President Barack Obama is going behind bars as he extends his campaign for reform in the criminal justice system, becoming the first sitting president to see inside a federal prison.

The White House says Obama will make a statement after his tour of the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in Oklahoma.

The president has highlighted inequities in the criminal justice system all week.

On Monday, he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, 14 of whom were serving life terms.

And on Tuesday, in a speech to the NAACP in Philadelphia, Obama argued for shortening or eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for those same offenders, and against solitary confinement.

"Any system that allows us to turn a blind eye to hopelessness and despair, that's not a justice system. It is an injustice system," he said. "But that is an extension and a reflection of some broader decisions that we're making as a society. And that has to change."


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