Obama: ‘Simply Locking People Up Doesn’t Make Communities Safer’

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During Saturday’s Weekly Address, President Obama argued that the US does not have more people in prison than any other developed country “because we have more criminals.  It’s because we have criminal justice policies, including unfair sentencing laws, that need to be reformed.” He added “simply locking people up doesn’t make communities safer” because “It doesn’t deal with the conditions that lead people to criminal activity in the first place, or to return to prison later.” Transcript as Follows: “Hello, everybody.  Today, there are some 2.2 million people behind bars in America.  Millions more are on parole or probation.  All told, we spend 80 billion taxpayer dollars each year to keep people locked up.  Many are serving unnecessarily long sentences for non-violent crimes. Almost 60 percent have mental health problems.  Almost 70 percent were regular drug users.  And as a whole, our prison population is disproportionately black and Latino. Now, plenty of people should be behind bars.  But the reason we have so many more people in prison than any other developed country is not because we have more criminals.  It’s because we have criminal justice policies, including unfair sentencing laws, that need to be reformed. We know that simply locking