I believe we can disrupt the pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails. I believe we can address the disparities in the application of criminal justice, from arrest rates to sentencing to incarceration. And I believe we can help those who have served their time and earned a second chance get the support they need to become productive members of society.
Criminal justice reform is once again the topic of President Obama’s weekly address this morning, building on a series of meetings he’s had with stakeholders in the system, from police officers and corrections officers, to inmates and families fighting drug abuse.
And he was clear about what he’s learned: “We know that having millions of people in the criminal justice system, without any ability to find a job after release, is unsustainable. It’s bad for communities and it’s bad for our economy.”
And next week, he told listeners,
plans to travel to Newark, New Jersey, to learn more about reintegration services for offenders who’ve served their time. He closed on a note that gives hope to a commitment he’s expressed before, that as his term winds down, there can be some true reform of the system:
There’s a reason that good people across the country are coming together to reform our criminal justice system. Because it’s not about politics. It’s about whether we as a nation live up to our founding ideal of liberty and justice for all. And working together, we can make sure that we do.
To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.