Capping off a week of events and political actions to tackle prison reform, President Obama on Thursday became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison when he stepped through the doors of Oklahoma’s El Reno to talk to inmates and law enforcement officers about the current state of our criminal justice system.
Literally going where no other commander-in-chief has gone, Obama toured the facility, stepped into an empty cell and started a meaningful conversation with six non-violent drug offenders chosen by the news organization Vice to speak with the president for a documentary slated to air on HBO this fall.
Earlier this week, the president granted clemency for 46 non-violent drug offenders; the largest number of commutations a president has granted since Lyndon B. Johnson. During Thursday’s visit, Obama reflected on a life he could have had, a life that was a possibility when he was a young man experimenting with drugs and making mistakes similar to those he spoke with behind bars.
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