The Heat: Obama pushes for US criminal justice reform

The Heat

It was a stunning admission from a sitting president. U.S. President Barack Obama told inmates at an Oklahoma prison that he could have wound up in prison had circumstances had been different. The president is now calling for major reforms of the criminal justice system including reducing harsh punishments for non-violent drug offenders and better rehabilitation programs.

According to the U.S. National Research Council, more than two million people are locked up in the country, and the majority of inmates are black or Hispanic. It’s the largest prison population in the world at a cost to American taxpayers of $80 billion a year. During his speech, President Obama stressed the importance of giving troubled teenagers a second chance.

CCTV’s Anand Naidoo interviewed these guests about the U.S. criminal justice system:

  • Gloria Browne-Marshall, an associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
  • Joe Madison, a radio talk show host and civil rights activist.
  • Bob Ney, a former member of U.S. Congress who served 30 months in prison for his role in a corruption scandal.
  • Juanita Diaz-Cotto, a professor at Binghamton University who has studied the impact of the criminal justice system on women.
The Heat: Obama pushes for US criminal justice reform

The Heat: Obama pushes for US criminal justice reform

It was a stunning admission from a sitting president. U.S. President Barack Obama told inmates at an Oklahoma prison that he could have wound up in prison had circumstances had been different. The president is now calling for major reforms of the criminal justice system including reducing harsh punishments for non-violent drug offenders and better rehabilitation programs. According to the U.S. National Research Council, more than two million people are locked up in the country, and the majority of inmates are black or Hispanic. It's the largest prison population in the world at a cost to American taxpayers of $80 billion a year. During his speech, President Obama stressed the importance of giving troubled teenagers a second chance.

The Heat: Obama pushes for US criminal justice reform 2

The Heat: Obama pushes for US criminal justice reform 2

CCTV's Anand Naidoo interviewed these guests about the U.S. criminal justice system: Gloria Browne-Marshall, an associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Joe Madison, a radio talk show host and civil rights activist. Bob Ney, a former member of U.S. Congress who served 30 months in prison for his role in a corruption scandal. Juanita Diaz-Cotto, a professor at Binghamton University who has studied the impact of the criminal justice system on women.

The panel continues: