The bite gives three pardons, 75 transformations to people serving for non-violent drug crimes

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President Biden makes his first three pardons while in office, transforming the sentences of over 75 people serving prison sentences for non-violent drug crimes as part of the Biden administration’s “broad commitment” to reform the justice system and address racial differences.

The White House said Tuesday that the pardons and transformations embody the president’s “belief that America is a nation with other opportunities,” and said that individuals have “made efforts to rehabilitate themselves, including through education and training or drug treatment in The prison.”

“Today, I pardon three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and strive every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” the president said, adding that he is exchanging sentences over 75 people serving “long prison sentences.” for non-violent drug crimes, many of which have been served at home during the COVID pandemic [sic]- and many of them would have received a lower sentence if they had been charged with the same offense today, thanks to the two-part First Step Act. “


The First Step Act is a law passed with the support of two parties under the Trump administration that lowers the mandatory minimum sentences for past drug crimes, and shifts to offer drug offenders with three sentences up to 25 years in prison instead of life; and allows some individuals serving sentences for crack cocaine offenses to file a motion with a judge for a reduced sentence.

The people expected to receive full pardon are Abraham Bolden, an 86-year-old former U.S. Secret Service agent who was the first African-American to serve on a presidential detail. In 1964, Ball was charged with felony criminal mischief for attempting to sell a copy of his Secret Service file. The ball has maintained his innocence, claiming he was attacked in retaliation for exposing unprofessional and racist behavior in the agency.

Department of Justice sign, Washington DC, USA.  iStock

Department of Justice sign, Washington DC, USA. iStock

The ball had received numerous honors and awards for his ongoing work for speaking out against the racism he faced in the Secret Service in the 1960s, and for his courage in challenging injustice.

Betty Jo Bogans, 51, must also receive full pardon from the president after she was convicted in 1998 of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in the southern district of Texas after trying to transport drugs to her boyfriend and his accomplice. Neither of which were detained or arrested. Officials said Bogans was a single mother with no previous record when he was convicted. Bogan was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Officials say Bogans, since her release, has had consistent employment, even while undergoing treatment for cancer, and has focused on raising her son.


Dexter Eugene Jackson, 52, is also expected to receive full pardon. He was convicted in 2002 for his business of facilitating the distribution of marijuana in the northern district of Georgia. Jackson was not personally involved in the marijuana trade, officials said, but allowed marijuana distributors to use his pool hall to facilitate drug trafficking.

At the time, Jackson accepted full responsibility for his actions and pleaded guilty. Since his release from custody, Jackson has converted his business to a cell phone repair service, and he now employs local high school students through a program that seeks to provide young adults with work experience. Jackson, according to officials, is also working to build and renovate homes in a community that “lacks affordable, high-quality housing.”

President Joe Biden speaks at Business Roundtables' quarterly CEO meeting

President Joe Biden speaks at Business Roundtables’ quarterly CEO meeting
(AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

In addition to the pardons and mediations, the president said on Tuesday his administration is taking steps to expand employment opportunities and help former inmates successfully re-enter society – which a senior administration official said is “two key pillars” in the president’s comprehensive strategy for to prevent and combat gun violence and other violent crime.

“Promoting successful re-entry results makes our communities safer, breaks cycles of economic hardship and strengthens our economy,” the official said.


The White House on Tuesday announced a $ 145 million partnership between the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor to invest in job training and re-entry into federal prisons to pave the way for a “seamless transition to employment and support for re-entry upon release.”

US President Joe Biden makes remarks at a Black History Month celebration event in the East Room of the White House on February 28, 2022 in Washington, DC

US President Joe Biden makes remarks at a Black History Month celebration event in the East Room of the White House on February 28, 2022 in Washington, DC
(Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

The initiative comes as part of the Ministry of Justice’s implementation of the First Step Act. The law also provides a directive to the DOJ to establish a system for assessing the risk of a person committing recidivism, as well as creating housing or other incentives for offenders to participate in recidivism reduction programs.

Officials in the Biden administration expect the pilot program – the first of its kind – to serve thousands of inmates in several states.

“The President’s announcement regarding these transformations … this is an exercise of the President’s power, reflecting his broad commitment to reforming our justice system and addressing racial differences,” said an administration official. “He understands that far too many people are serving very long prison terms for non-violent drug crimes, and so he is using his gracious power as a way to try to solve it.”

The official also said the new program is a “crime reduction strategy.”

“We know that employment reduces recidivism, and we are really leaning towards that,” the official said, adding that Tuesday’s announcements are part of the Biden administration’s “comprehensive, inclusive strategy.”


“You have to do a lot of things at once,” the official said. “You have to make sure people get support while in jail and they start getting the job skills and training they need.”

The administration is also set to expand access to business capital through the Small Business Administration – which recently announced the elimination of criminal record restrictions to access its Community Advantage loans – a critical program that provides loans to low-income borrowers and to those from underserved communities .

The administration will on Tuesday also “remove barriers” to federal employment for former inmates, and agencies such as the Department of Transportation will expand access to jobs.

Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs’, the Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Prisons are also set to issue a joint statement on a new effort to speed up the recovery of services for incarcerated veterans. The VA also announced new efforts to increase the number of state prisons and jails using their Veterans Reentry Search Service, which helps identify veterans in their custody and associate them with reentry services.

The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a new special enrollment period of six months after release to Medicare for individuals who missed a enrollment period for health insurance coverage while incarcerated. And the Department of Housing and Urban Development is also announcing a review of its existing rules and guidelines to identify how HUD programs can increase the inclusion of people with jail and conviction records.

In terms of educational opportunities, the Department of Education will announce changes to policies to help inmates get out of loan defaults and gain access to Pell Grants.


“In the short term, defaulters who have defaulted will get a ‘fresh start’. Like other defaulted borrowers, imprisoned borrowers with defaulted loans will resume repayment in good condition when the student loan repayment period ends,” an official said, adding that the Ministry of Education also announces a “long-term solution” that will allow imprisoned persons. to consolidate their loans to get out of default.

“This change will now give inmates the same opportunity to get out of default as non-inmates,” the official said.

The president, meanwhile, stressed that “helping those who earned their time return to their families and become contributing members of their communities is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism and reduce crime.”

Biden added that although the announcements on Tuesday mark “important progress”, his administration will continue to “review pardons” and deliver reforms that he said will “promote equality and justice, provide a second chance and improve the well-being and security of all Americans.”

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