Community Health, Youth Voices
President Obama recently commuted prison sentences for 46 more nonviolent drug offenders, and became the first sitting president ever to visit a federal penitentiary, El Reno prison in Oklahoma. In his statements, he pointed out that many of the bad decisions made by offenders were made in the throes of drug addiction. Days later, young people who’ve experienced the fallout of drug abuse and incarceration have varying perceptions of Obama’s actions. “There are countless factors that play out when a person is released from prison. If they have no support when they get out, they will more than likely end up doing what got them in trouble in the first place. Only some people change when they get out. Knowing who will take advantage of the opportunity and who will not is very difficult to determine.” Youth journalists weigh in on the president’s decision to visit El Reno and his nascent efforts to reform the country’s criminal justice system, on We’Ced.