President Obama headed to the El Reno federal prison on July 16th as part of his two-day visit in Oklahoma—a historical move since it was the first time for any sitting president to visit a federal correctional facility. At the event, the President drew attention to many of the failings of the country’s current federal sentencing guidelines, which often puts non-violent offenders at risk for spending years incarcerated. As a criminal attorney in Raleigh, I am all too familiar with unwarranted sentences that simply do not fit the crime.
Overcrowding: A Common Scenario in Prison
The overcrowding of correctional facilities is evidence enough that many sentences for nonviolent offenders are excessive. President Obama seemed surprised to see that “three grown men” shared a standard 9-by-10-feet cell with just the bare amenities.