Obama goes behind bars in push for criminal justice reform

Obama visits a federal prison in OklahomaBy Julia Edwards EL RENO, Oklahoma (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, who wrote in his memoir about using marijuana and cocaine as a youth, became the first sitting president to tour a federal prison on Thursday and met drug-offense inmates, saying he could have been in their place if not for the advantages he had growing up. Obama spoke with inmates and toured El Reno federal prison, which holds 1300 inmates, 146 percent of its capacity. Obama walked down the prison’s dimly-lit gray halls and stood at the door of Cell 123, Block B, noticing its two occupants’ sparse supplies: brown uniforms, mesh laundry bags, dish soap and a few books.

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