Rappers, Stars Ask Obama To Reform Prisons, Drug Policy Via Open Letter

 @TBarrabit.barrabi@ibtimes.com
on April 09 2013 10:22 AM
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A group of celebrities has written an open letter to President Obama, asking for a reformed prison system and looser drug policies. Reuters

A group of well-known activists, rappers and other celebrities have written an open letter to President Obama, requesting looser drug policies and reform of America’s prison system.

The letter, which was signed by Lil Wayne, Kim Kardashian, LL Cool J and many others, praises President Obama’s leadership on gun control while simultaneously asking him to lead a reform on the manner in which America handles its non-violent criminals, the Weekly Standard reports.  

"During your presidency you have made important steps and you now have the opportunity to leave a legacy by transforming our criminal justice system to an intervention and rehabilitation-based model. Many of those impacted by the prison industrial complex are among your most loyal constituents," the letter said.

"Your struggles as the child of a single mother allow you to identify with millions of children who long to be with their parents. We request the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these ideas further and empower our coalition to help you achieve your goals of reducing crime, lowering drug use, preventing juvenile incarceration and lowering recidivism rates. We stand with you, ready to do what is just for America."

Specifically, the letter asks President Obama to consider the plight of the children who are left without guardians in the wake of drug-related arrests.

“The greatest victims of the prison industrial complex are our nation’s children. Hundreds of thousands of children have lost a parent to long prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses, leaving these children to fend for themselves,” the letter says. “Many of these children end up in the criminal justice system, which comes as no surprise as studies have shown the link between incarceration and broken families, juvenile delinquency, violence and poverty.”

The petition asks President Obama to consider penalties “that are more consistent with the magnitude of the offense” in drug cases. In addition, the celebrities suggest that the nation consider rehabilitation of its non-violent drug offenders, rather than admission to America’s overcrowded prison system.

You can read the letter in its entirety, as well as its list of celebrity sponsors, here.

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