Over half a million people get out of jail every year and are given their second chance. However, they are not always given the second chance they expect because of the shortage of jobs, housing, and mental health services; as a result, many of them end up back in jail. President Barack Obama will be trying to stop the cycle that prisoners face by giving ex-convicts the real second chance they deserve. In order to do this, Obama and his Congress are considering cutting sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. As for the violent offenders, he plans to work with them after they are freed from their sentence.

“Everyone has a role to play, from businesses that are hiring ex-offenders to philanthropies that are supporting education and training programs,” Obama stated in his weekly address.

The issue is that Obama cannot make many new moves if no new laws are passed. For instance, Obama has pleaded that congress “ban(s) the box” in order to prohibit applications for asking about any criminal history. This issue seems to be circling in the Democratic presidential primary with candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley all working to help those that have been released from prison find new opportunities.

By using his power whenever needed, the president will reveal that he’s pleading the government personnel office to hold off on the hiring process to ask about criminal histories until later. According to the White House, many agencies have already taken this step. The Obama administration will also make its “one strike” rule, which stops many people with arrest records from living in public housing, clear. At a state-funded drug and residential treatment center, President Obama was asked by Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to join them. He has also planned to deliver a statement at Rutgers University’s law school.

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