President Obama recently commuted the sentences of 42 men and women who were serving years in prison under harsh, outdated laws for small drug offenses. According to reports, these new batch of inmates granted a second chance bring Obama’s clemency total to a whopping 348, more than the last seven presidents combined.
Compared to other presidents, Bush commuted only 11 inmates’ prison sentences while President Bill Clinton came in at a distant second to Obama with 61. President H.W Bush granted three prisoners clemency, while Jimmy Carter gave 29 inmates a second chance. President Ford, 22 and Nixon, 60.
Obama’s efforts come in part to his commitment to criminal justice reform. While his time in office may soon be up, number 44 made history when he became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison in July 2015. The president spoke with six inmates at the El Reno Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma., and spoke candidly about America’s prison problem.
“I think we have a tendency sometimes to almost take for granted or think it’s normal that so many young people end up in our criminal justice system. It’s not normal. It’s not what happens in other countries. What is normal is teenagers doing stupid things,” Obama said after touring the facility and visiting with the six inmates.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 6, 2016
The men and women who’s sentences have been commuted were expected to be released October 1 or the following June.