How Can Obama Fulfill His Pledges for Sweeping Criminal Justice Reform and Redeem His Policy Legacy?

President Obama is intent on leaving his office on a high and energetic momentum. Afterwards we may feel a little deflated if the next President operates at a slower pace. It was a striking image, seeing our President walk into a federal prison, speaking with inmates, having the thought in the back of my head, but for the grace of God, at an earlier time, our President may well have been amongst them. One mistake for an African-American carries penalties far and away more consequential and grave than for a white young man makign the exact same mistake. The basic fact, so easy to write down yet so unbearingly hard to reverse, we have so many avenues that need to be visited and redrawn, economically, socially, politically and communally, especially between the Justice department, the courts and the police departments and our society. 
President Obama will need to spend many hours with his team at the Justice Department, his liasons with all of our Mayors and our Governors, in order to find ways to institute better screening, better training and better community action programs, and that is only a start. President Obama has not addressed the gorilla in the room, the huge prison industrial complex, all privatized, he hasn’t spoken how we surrendered our duty as citizens, as jurors, as officers of the court after we prosecuted, judged, convicted and sentenced, to the convicted and shifted it over to a private enterprise, instead of keeping the issue within the public realm or domain. We are failing ourselves greatly with this absurd notion that the markets have all the answers and the best solutions; we have it backwards, when you inject profit into a system, you change the entire reason for the institution’s raison d’etre, you make it all about the money and not about the principles involved. We need to reclaim our complete responsibilities as citizens charged by our founding fathers as it is taught to us at elementary school; our government is for the people, by the people and of the people, not corporations, not plutocrats, the people, plain and simple. We also need to stop seeing bogeymen everywhere, we need to see people making mistakes, impoverished, left with little opportunity or possibility, when we view it through such a lens, we see beyond the criminal, we see the flawed person, needing a second chance.    

read the article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-e-sterling/how-can-obama-fulfill-his_b_7899314.html

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