Tags: Barack Obama | obama | easing | restrictions | ex-convicts | controversy

Obama's Easing of Restrictions on Ex-convicts Spurs Controversy

Image: Obama's Easing of Restrictions on Ex-convicts Spurs Controversy
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By    |   Monday, 23 May 2016 01:20 PM

Administrative policy changes enacted by the Obama administration that aim to make it easier for ex-convicts to reenter society have worried critics who say the moves could help boost crime, The Washington Times reports.

The changes include removing questions about criminal history from federal job applications and making it much more difficult for landlords to reject renters due to their criminal background.

These reforms are based on the theory that ex-convicts are more likely to return to crime if they can't find housing or get jobs.

These moves come in the context of a bipartisan criminal justice bill awaiting a vote by the U.S. Senate that would release thousands of federal prisoners early. According to Reuters, the bill would lower federal prison costs by $722 million over the next 10 years.

But critics say the good intentions are misguided. Sen. Tom Cotton is leading the charge against the reforms and said it would be dangerous to reduce barriers to employment for ex-offenders, The Huffington Post reports.

Detractors of the reforms such as Cotton, a Republican, point to a report that the number of Americans murdered increased 16 percent in 2015. This, in addition to a rise in other violent crime, reverses a trend of the past two decades and, they say, hardly makes it the time to release more convicts into the street, Breitbart reports.

However, other Republicans, such as the bill's co-sponsor Sen. Charles Grassley, push back against the criticism, telling Reuters that "We have an obligation to change the way we think about incarceration."

Supporters also argue that the bill took into account the critics and was revised last month to exclude prisoners convicted of violent crimes in an attempt to gain more support among conservatives.

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Administrative policy changes enacted by the Obama administration that aim to make it easier for ex-convicts to reenter society have worried critics who say the moves could help boost crime, The Washington Times reports.
obama, easing, restrictions, ex-convicts, controversy
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2016-20-23
Monday, 23 May 2016 01:20 PM
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