President Barack Obama visited El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security facility for male offenders in Oklahoma, in July 2015, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to set foot inside a federal prison. Obama was calling then for shortening the sentences of non-violent drug offenders and advocating for the reduction, or outright elimination, of severe mandatory minimum sentences.
O’Rourke’s visit follows his attending a roundtable Thursday in Las Vegas, where he spoke with formerly incarcerated people about restoring voting rights, providing better training and education for former prisoners and overhauling the criminal justice system.
…O’Rourke visited the Harris County Jail in Houston and met with inmates. He has long called for ending the federal prohibition on marijuana and expunging the criminal records of those arrested solely for possession, and also supports ending mandatory minimum sentences and cash bail systems, as well as closing all private and for-profit prisons nationwide. Many of the Democrats now running for president hold similar positions.