President Barack Obama is calling for major changes to the American criminal justice system. He says problems in the current system are ones that the country can no longer ignore.
"In far too many cases," Mr. Obama said, "the punishment simply doesn't fit the crime." He spoke in Philadelphia this week at a meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the NAACP. The organization works in support of racial equality throughout the United States.
The president said the US jails as many people as the top 35 European nations combined. Currently, 2.2 million people are in held in US prisons. African-Americans and Latinos are jailed for non-violent drug crimes at much higher rates than other groups of people.
"Our criminal justice system isn't as smart as it should be," Mr. Obama said. "It's not keeping us safe as it should be. It is not as fair as it should be. Mass incarceration makes our country worse off."
In his speech, the president suggested either changing or removing laws that require courts to give jail sentences as punishment for non-violent drug crimes. He also said there should be more job training programs for people while they are in prison.
In addition, Mr. Obama announced that the Department of Justice would examine the use of ‘solitary confinement' in US prisons. This is a method of punishment where prisoners are placed alone in small rooms for long periods. Studies have shown that solitary confinement can have damaging psychological effects on prisoners.
The president urged Congress to approve a sentencing reform bill by the end of the year. He admitted that many people need to be in prison, among them "murderers, predators, rapists [and] gang leaders." However, he said that in too many cases, those enforcing the law treat young blacks and Latino men differently than white Americans.
He said African Americans and Latinos received longer jail sentences than whites for similar crimes. "About one in every 35 African American men, and one out of every 88 Latino men, is [in prison] right now,"he added.
His speech came a day after he commuted the jail time of 46 federal prisoners. Their sentences were reduced or cancelled. Each of the prisoners was sent to jail for a non-violent drug crime. The president's action was part of his effort to reform the criminal justice system.
The 46 prisoners were in jail for crimes involving the drug crack-cocaine. The minimum time in prison for such crimes is much higher than for crimes related to regular cocaine. Most of the prisoners would already be free if they had been sent to prison today, the Obama administration said. Fourteen were serving life prison sentences.
"These men and women were not hard criminals," the president said. "I believe, at its heart, America is a nation of second chances, and I believe these [people] deserve their second chance."
The administration said Mr. Obama would be willing to commute more sentences in the coming months if the conditions were right. "The statistics cannot be ignored. We cannot close our eyes anymore," he said.
I'm Pete Musto.
He only wants freedom, justice and equality.
I had been looking for ways to combine harmonic and rhythmic struc-tures.
During that time there have been repeated attempts to reintroduce capital punishment.
There was a vast distance between psychological clues and concrete proof.
The police don't make the laws, they merely enforce them.
Prison sentences have been commuted.
1.He says problems in the current system are ones that the country can no longer ignore.
He was long a famous musician, but he plays no longer.
他成为有名的音乐家已很久了, 但他现在不演奏了 。
2."In far too many cases," Mr. Obama said, "the punishment simply doesn't fit the crime."
The holidays passed far too quickly. 假期过得太快了。
You ask far too many questions. 你问的问题实在太多了。
It’s far too cold to play tennis. 天气实在太冷了，不能打网球。
You’re far too young to get married. 你太年轻了，不能结婚。
3. "About one in every 35 African American men, and one out of every 88 Latino men, is [in prison] right now,"he added.
Ninety-nine people out of a hundred,if they were asked who first found America,would answer Clumbus．
The map is drawn to a scale of one of ten thousand．
奥巴马说，“在许多案件中，刑罚与罪行完全不符。”本周，他在费城全国有色人种协进会(NAACP)会议上发表了讲话 。该组织致力于支持美国各地种族平等 。
奥巴马总统表示，美国监狱关押的人数是欧洲排名前35的国家囚犯的总和。目前，美国监狱共收押了220万人 。因非暴力毒品犯罪被关押的非裔美国人和拉丁美洲人比率远远高于其他种族 。
除此之外，奥巴马还宣布，司法部应该审查美国监狱中“单独监禁”的使用。这种刑罚长期将囚犯单独关押在狭小的空间里 。研究表明，单独监禁伤害了囚犯的心理健康 。
总统敦促国会在今年年底之前通过刑罚改革。他承认，许多人应该入狱，其中有“谋杀犯，捕猎者，强奸犯和犯罪团伙头目 。”然而，他说，在许多案件中，执法人员将年轻黑人和拉美裔人与白人区别对待 。
发表该讲话一天之前，他为46名联邦囚犯减刑。他们的刑期被缩短或取消 。这些囚犯都是因为非暴力毒品犯罪而入狱 。总统的行为是他改革刑事司法制度努力的一部分 。
这46名囚犯入狱是因为涉及毒品快克可卡因的罪行。这类犯罪的最短刑期比普通可卡因犯罪刑期长得多 。奥巴马政府称，如果是按照今天的刑罚来算，大部分囚犯应该已经刑满释放了 。其中14人被判终身监禁，正在服刑 。
政府表示，如果条件允许的话，未来几个月，奥巴马总统愿意为更多囚犯减刑。“统计数据不容忽略 。我们不能继续视而不见 。”他说 。