President Barack Obama is shown the inside of a cell as he visits the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla., July 16, 2015. 
Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Obama announces criminal justice tour

President Obama said Saturday he’ll embark on a tour aimed at highlighting some of the people and approaches that are working to improve our flawed criminal justice system. He also announced his backing for bipartisan measures in Congress to shorten mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses, and to reduce sentences for prisoners who participate in programs while incarcerated.

Obama’s comments, made in his weekly radio address Saturday morning, are the latest sign of progress on an issue that both parties now agree needs urgent attention.

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“Much of our criminal justice system remains unfair,” Obama said. “In recent years, more of our eyes have been opened to this truth. We can’t close them anymore. And good people of all political persuasions are eager to do something about it.”

Next Wednesday, Obama will travel to Charleston, W.V. to host a town hall-style meeting on ways to combat the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic that has swept the area.

“This is progress – not liberal ideas or conservative ideas, but common-sense solutions to the challenges we face,” Obama said.

Obama also last month spoke to criminal justice reform activists at the White House, including members of the Black Lives Matter movement, about ways to fix the system.

Barack Obama

Obama announces criminal justice tour