PRESIDENT Joe Biden commuted the sentencing of 75 individuals who are incarcerated on non-violent drug charges on April 26, 2022.
He also pardoned three individuals who have successfully been rehabilitated, according to the Biden Administration.
Why has Joe Biden pardoned individuals on drug charges?
President Joe Biden announced he would be marking Second Chance Month by commuting the sentences for 75 people and pardoning three others who were incarcerated for nonviolent drug charges.
In a statement to CNN, Biden said, “America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation.
“Elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement leaders agree that our criminal justice system can and should reflect these core values that enable safer and stronger communities.
“During Second Chance Month, I am using my authority under the Constitution to uphold those values by pardoning and commuting the sentences of fellow Americans.”
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The decision to shorten the prison sentences of 75 prisoners is part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to make the criminal justice system a more fair process.
The reduced prison sentences applied to those who have four years or less remaining with some having served part of their time in home confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The actions we’re taking today will have a real impact for someone trying to land a job, find a safe and affordable place to live with their children, and get back on their feet,” Susan Rice, Domestic Policy Advisor for the Biden administration said, according to ABC News.President Joe Biden is putting in place a re-entry plan for those released from prison[/caption]
Who has been pardoned?
Biden pardoned three individuals in addition to commuting the sentences of 75 individuals on April 26.
Abraham Bolden was the first Black Secret Service agent to serve on presidential detail when he was accused in 1964 of attempting to sell a copy of a secret service file.
He was put on trial which ended in a hung jury but he was convicted in his second trial even though witnesses admitted to lying at the request of the prosecutor.
Bolden has maintained his innocence since he was convicted and upon his release, stating that it is “a big relief,” according to NPR.
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He added, “I felt dirty having that conviction on my record even though I knew and the government knew I was not guilty.”
The outlet reported that Bolden claimed he was targeted for exposing racism and unprofessional behavior but he believed the truth would “win out.”
Biden also pardoned Betty Jo Bogans, 51, and Dexter Eugene Jackson, 52, both of who were sentenced to serve time in prison for nonviolent drug-related offenses.
What is the Biden Administration doing to ease re-entry?
The Biden Administration is working to develop re-entry plans that will allow those released from prison to be able to easily immerse themselves back into society.
The administration is setting aside $145million to go toward developing the re-entry plans which will include setting the individual up with a job, housing, and providing loans upon release.
“Helping those who served their time return to their families and become contributing members of their communities is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism and decrease crime,” Biden said in a statement from the White House.
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He added that job fairs and skills training should be organized to help integrate them back into society and would provide them with tools needed such as resume writing and interviewing for jobs.
The statement added, “Formerly incarcerated persons are an underutilized talent pool despite employers attesting that formerly incarcerated persons are often some of their best and most dedicated employees.”