President Obama commuted the sentence of 46 federal prisoners yesterday. Those people were serving lengthy sentences. Most were serving sentences in excess of 20 years. Some of the people didn’t have release dates. Without a commutation, they would have been incarcerated for life. They didn’t receive those sentences because they preyed on people or because they were violent. Instead, they sold drugs to consenting adults. Mandatory drug laws resulted in the Draconian sentences.
From my perspective, President Obama could’ve commuted sentences for 4,600 people, or perhaps more than 10,000 people. Our nation’s prison system confines way too many people, and they serve sentences that are way too long. We need a better system.
The Earning Freedom podcast represents one of the many efforts I make to build a better criminal justice system. As a prison consultant, I help people who have been indicted. I work alongside them to ensure that they’re well prepared for the presentence investigation. I assist them with sentence mitigation strategies. In addition, I create programs for those who are serving sentences. Those people live in communities that extinguish hope. Through content I create, whether it’s written words, videos, or audio podcasts, each message lets individuals know how they can begin sowing seeds today for a better tomorrow. I also work to help the formerly incarcerated transition into the labor market, or I work to spread awareness so that taxpayers will know how the criminal justice system influences them.
It’s my hope that we will see more people emerge from prison successfully. We must reverse this system of mass incarceration that results in so much intergenerational failure. I’ll continue doing my part. I hope that President Obama and others leaders will do their part. Commuting the sentences of 46 people was a good start. If employers open opportunities for those people to transition into the labor market, that would help too.
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