President Barack Obama says the U.S. can no longer close its eyes to the problems in its criminal justice system. Obama called for criminal justice reform at the NAACP's annual convention in Philadelphia.
“Mass incarceration makes our country worse off, and we need to do something about it.
“The social science shows that an environment like that is often more likely to make inmates more alienated, more hostile, potentially more violent.
“Do we really think it makes sense to lock so many people alone in tiny cells for 23 hours a day, for months—sometimes for years—at a time? That is not going to make us safer.”
“We should not tolerate conditions in prison that have no place in any civilized country. We should not be tolerating overcrowding in prison. We should not be tolerating gang activity in prison. We should not be tolerating rape in prison—and we shouldn’t be making jokes about it in our popular culture.
"That’s no joke. These things are unacceptable,” President Obama said.