Barack Obama on Crime
As a Senator, Barack Obama co-sponsored legislation ending racial profiling and spoke about the need to end racial profiling in his campaign literature. On Change.gov, President-Elect Obama also noted his support for the COPS program originally started by President Clinton.
President Obama signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 which helped to lessen disparities between sentencing for crack and powder cocaine. When speaking about the act, President Obama stated that the act began to address the wrongs of the past.
The Second Chance Act
On November 8, 2005 Senator Obama spoke on the Senate floor in support of the Second Chance Act.
Under the urban policy section of change.gov, Senator Obama noted 4 items he would address to deal with crime and law enforcement.
Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
In July of 2010, President Obama signed into law the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. This legislation increased the amount of crack cocaine required to be in possession to trigger the mandatory minimum penalties, and increased financial penalties for trafficking in drugs. While speaking to the Urban League, President Obama said the following about the law:
Across agencies, we’re taking on the structural inequalities that have held so many of our fellow citizens back, whether it’s making more housing available and more affordable, making sure civil rights and anti-discrimination laws are enforced, making sure our crime policy is not only tough, but also smart. So yesterday, we took an important step forward when Congress passed a fair sentencing bill that I look forward to signing into law -- (applause) -- a bipartisan bill to help right a longstanding wrong by narrowing sentencing disparities between those convicted of crack cocaine and powder cocaine. It’s the right thing to do. (Applause.) We’ve gotten that done.
Official Website Statements
Lead Criminal Justice Reform
The President will lead the fight to build a more fair and equitable criminal justice system. He will seek to strengthen federal hate crime legislation and will work to ensure that federal law enforcement agencies do not resort to racial profiling. He supports funding for drug courts, giving first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, if appropriate, in drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than prison terms in changing behavior. President Obama will also improve ex-offender employment and job retention strategies, substance abuse treatment, and mental health counseling so ex-offenders can successfully re-join society.
Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation
A bill to prohibit racial profiling.
 Website: WhiteHouse.gov Article: REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON EDUCATION REFORM AT THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE CENTENNIAL CONFERENCE Author: NA Accessed on: 03/07/2011