Obama's Criminal Justice Report Is A Blueprint For Trump

The president published a piece in the Harvard Law Review, cementing his legacy on criminal justice and laying out what still needs to be done.
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Obama's Criminal Justice Report Is A Blueprint For Trump

President Obama just published an essay in the Harvard Law Review laying out exactly what he thinks still needs to be done on criminal justice reform.

Obama was the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, and he wrote that making the U.S. criminal justice system "smarter, fairer, and more effective at keeping our communities safe" has been a focus of his.

One way Obama exerted his presidential power on criminal justice was through clemency. He commuted more sentences than his 11 predecessors, combined. He reduced the sentences of people incarcerated under what the White House called "outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws."

Now, Obama is passing the mantle to Donald Trump. In this essay, he never directly addresses his successor, but he does say what he thinks should be done in the "next few years." First, Obama dissected the U.S.' criminal justice problems.

The U.S. has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. It has 2.2 million people behind bars — more than any other country.

To fix this, Obama called for a renewed effort to pass a sentencing reform act from 2015 that has yet to come to the floor for a vote. It would have reduced mandatory minimum sentences and made sentencing reforms retroactive.

Obama also called for a public health response to the opioid crisis, advocating for treating addiction as a disease, rather than a crime.

He requested more data collection on criminal justice issues to better inform policy changes.

And finally, to promote trust in law enforcement, Obama called for more use of technology, like body cameras.

You can read the president's full policy report in the Harvard Law Review.

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