US president Barack Obama is planning to change the way Americans go to prison and for this the president will be visiting Federal Correctional Institution El Reno, a medium-security prison in Oklahoma, as an effort to push reforms to the nation's criminal justice system.
It will be the first time when a sitting American president has ever visited a federal penitentiary. Obama said Tuesday in a speech before the NAACP convention in Philadelphia that although people in prisons have made mistake but above all they are also Americans.
"Our criminal justice system isn't as smart as it should be. It's not keeping us as safe as we should be. It is not as fair as it should be. We need to do something about it", he said.
It has been told that president Obama has called for reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug crimes and giving prosecutors more discretion over what kinds of punishment to seek.
On Monday, the president commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders, including 14 who were sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent drug crimes. In total Obama made 89 commutations, more than the last four presidents combined.
Obama said in an online statement Monday that punishments given to those prisoner did not suited their crime and if they were sentenced under today's laws, nearly all of them would have already served their time.
The president's agenda is to making available to inmates more training programs inside prisons, as well as opportunities for work and rehabilitation after release.
According to the White House, the major goal is to make sure former convicts can once again get a job, go back to school, or access housing, loans, or credit after serving their time.