Weekly Address: Building a Fairer and More Effective Criminal Justice System
WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President discussed his continued efforts to build a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system. The Department of Justice has designated the week of April 24-30 as National Reentry Week, during which the Administration will highlight how strong reentry programs can make our communities safer. In support of National Reentry Week, the President said his Administration will take additional steps to ensure applicants with a criminal history have a fair shot when competing for a federal job. -Additionally, the White House will call on businesses to commit to hiring those who have served their time, and it will issue a report on the economic costs of high incarceration rates in this country. The President emphasized that this is about more than what makes economic and practical sense – it’s about ensuring we live up to our Nation's ideals.
Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
The White House
April 23, 2016
Hello, everybody. Today, there are some 2.2 million people behind bars in America. Millions more are on parole or probation. All told, we spend 80 billion taxpayer dollars each year to keep people locked up. Many are serving unnecessarily long sentences for non-violent crimes. Almost 60 percent have mental health problems. Almost 70 percent were regular drug users. 0And as a whole, our prison population is disproportionately black and Latino.
Now, plenty of people should be behind bars. But the reason we have so many more people in prison than any other developed country is not because we have more criminals.