President Obama’s signing of a two-year budget deal has been at the forefront of the news today, but he’s sinceturned his laser-like focus back tocriminal justice reform. Earlier today, he sat down for an interview with NBC News that willair tonight, and this afternoon he delivered a speech at Rutgers University to explain why more than 6,000 inmates are being released over the next several days.
Would you believe that was the very first question?
The White House has been tweeting slides to accompany the president’s speech. It’s clear that the president isn’t happy with the racial makeup up the nation’s prison population (not diverse enough), and that most nonviolent offenders shouldn’t be in prison. For what it’s worth, “nonviolent offenders” seems to designate those convicted ofdrug-related crimes.
Or not. The problem then is how to reintroduce these nonviolent offenders back into society, and of course that will take a helping hand from the government.
“Banning the box” means not asking aprospective federal employee or contractor if he or she has been convicted of a crime“until later in the hiring process.” Other efforts at helping nonviolent offenders include millions in grants from theDepartment of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice and more to provide basic education, technology-based career training, and permanent supportive housing.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but New York City Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton suggested its important to pay attention to who is let out of prison thanks to this new initiative.
Again, while many think of nonviolent criminals as people incarcerated on minor drug charges, Bratton adds some much-needed perspective. He noted in particular Tyrone Howard, accused of fatally shooting OfficerRandolph Holder in the face last month.
This individual had 28 arrests thats 28 times we caught him committing the crime, let alone all the crimes that he probably committed in between us catching him, Bratton toldradio hostJohn Catsimatidis. Some people are criminals. This guy had been given more chances to deal with his drug addiction problem he failed every time Some people are bad people. And we need to separate the bad people from the good people.