Whether you love him or hate him, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. In a recent effort to cut back the number of people incarcerated on non-violent drug charges, President Barack Obama said he will free dozens more federal prisoners in the next weeks, according to the New York Times.
Obama is planning on starting with the sentences of around 80 individuals who have been locked up on non-violent drug offenses. But that is just the start.
There are over 30,000 prisoners who have applied for clemency and there is talk emanating from the White House that these 80 are just the first wave.
The Obama administration claims that this is all part of a broader move to correct for judicial abuse, discrimination and general over-sentencing.
While the nation only has 5% of the total global population, it houses a full 25% of the world’s imprisoned.
That is a 700% increase since 1970.
Without question, this massive escalation of caging non-violent offenders is due to the so-called “War on Drugs.”
That has now been widely seen as an abject failure, and has been linked to this massive increasing incarceration rate, according to Business Insider.
The book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, highlights the crossover with systemic racism, noting that there are currently more imprisoned African American men today than there were in slavery at the height of the institution in 1850.
That’s remarkable when we consider that the 13th amendment never abolished slavery for prisoners. That means that today there are more African American slaves in the United States than at any other time in America’s history!
Watch the video below, where Obama discusses the crisis of U.S. mass incarceration…
(Article by Jackson Marciana and Reagan Ali)