Obama focuses nation on prison reform

pres obamaWashington, DC – This is a monumental, and memorable week for mass incarceration and prison reform. On Monday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders, Wednesday at the 106th NAACP Convention in Philadelphia he announced his support for extensive prison reform, and on Thursday, he became the first seated president to visit a federal prison. For those deeply rooted in the fight to end mass incarceration, these events and announcements provide an encouraging push toward justice, according to Rev. Michael McBride, director of PICO National Network’s LIVE FREE Campaign,

“This is an important moment that must be grounded in the moral leadership, courage and wisdom of directly impacted communities,” McBride said. “We have a great opportunity and a great challenge facing us in light of the President’s speech: the great opportunity is to dismantle the largest system of racial terror, control and exclusion since slavery; the great challenge is that this moment will be hijacked by monied interests, poor political leadership and spineless reformists who will employ a race-to-the-bottom strategy of reform that scratches their itch, but leaves the rest of us with a rash.”

The Live Free Campaign addresses gun violence, mass incarceration, and the humanization of young people of color, and, Rev. McBride says, is deeply committed to empowering urban communities, families and youth – especially as it relates to ending mass incarceration – through the principles of a relevant and liberating Gospel message.”

August 4, 2015
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