Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Obama Pushes Sentence Reform, Shortens 214 Prison Sentences

Most of the 214 sentences shortened by the president were for nonviolent drug offenses.

By Matt Picht | August 3, 2016

President Obama shortened 214 federal prison sentences Wednesday as part of his ongoing push for sentencing reform.

SEE MORE: Obama's Prison Visit Highlights Shift In Drug Policy

The commuted sentences were mostly for nonviolent drug offenses or firearm possession charges; 67 of the 214 prisoners were serving life terms. The White House says this is the most commutations granted by a president in one day since at least 1900.

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The administration's clemency push is meant to highlight a need for criminal justice reform — an issue which has bipartisan support but has faced hurdles in Congress.

SEE MORE: The Numbers Behind Obama's Push For Prison Reform

So far, the president has granted 562 clemency petitions; more than the previous nine presidents combined. But Obama's clemency initiative is running pretty far behind: The administration still has almost 12,000 commutation petitions pending.

This video includes clips from the White House. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

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