This includes clemency to a Kennedy-era Secret Service agent convicted in federal bribery cases that he attempted to sell a file of an agency file. It also provides clemency for two other people convicted on drug-related charges who went on to become pillars within their communities.

The Democratic president also commuted sentences for 75 other drug-related nonviolent convictions. The White House announced Tuesday the clemencies as it launched a series job training and reentry programs to assist those currently in prison or newly released.

Many of the commutations were granted to people who had been in home confinement since the beginning of The COVID-19 pandemic. Many were serving long sentences and would have received a lesser sentence if they had been convicted today by the 2018 bipartisan sentencing Reform.

Biden stated that America is a nation of laws, second chances, redemption and rehabilitation in a statement declaring the clemencies. “Elected officials from both sides of the aisle as well as faith leaders, civil rights advocates and law enforcement officers agree that our criminal justice system should reflect these core values, which enable safer and more stable communities.”

Pardons can be granted to:

Abraham Bolden Sr. (86), was the first Black Secret Service agent ever to be assigned to a presidential detail. Bolden, who was a member of President John F. Kennedy’s detail, was charged with federal bribery for trying to sell a Secret Service file. Bolden’s first trial was hung.

After Bolden was convicted in a second trial at which point key witnesses confessed to lying upon the request of the prosecutor. Bolden, a Chicago resident, was denied a second trial and spent several years in federal prison. Bolden maintained his innocence and wrote a book arguing that he was targeted because he spoke out against racism and unprofessional behavior within the Secret Service.

Betty Jo Bogans (51), was convicted of 1998 possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. She had attempted to transport drugs for her boyfriend, and his accomplice. Bogans was a single mother without any prior convictions and received a seven year sentence. Bogans, a single mother with no prior record, was sentenced to seven years in prison. She has since held steady employment even during her cancer treatment and raised a son.

Dexter Jackson, 52, from Athens, Georgia was convicted of using his pool hall for the facilitation of marijuana trafficking in 2002. Jackson pleaded guilty to the charge and admitted that he had allowed his business be used by marijuana sellers.

Jackson was released from prison and converted his business to a cellphone repair company that employs high school students. This is a program that gives young adults work experience. Jackson built and renovated affordable homes in his local community.

The White House has been urged by civil rights groups and criminal justice reform groups to commute sentences and to work harder to reduce the disparities in the criminal justice process. The congressional scrutiny of the administration’s conduct and treatment of inmates in beleaguered federal Bureau of Prisons has led to Biden’s clemency grants. This is the agency that houses inmates who are serving home confinement sentences.

As the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee Biden helped to shepherd through 1994’s crime bill. Many criminal justice experts claim that this legislation contributed to harsh sentences for Black men and the mass imprisonment of Blacks.

Biden, during his 2020 White House campaign, pledged to decrease the U.S. prison population and called for drug courts and treatment to be offered to nonviolent drug offenders.

He has also advocated for better training of law enforcement officers and for criminal justice system reforms to address the disparities that have resulted in minorities and the poor being disproportionately represented in the nation’s prison population.

Inimai Chettiar was the federal director of Justice Action Network’s criminal justice reform advocacy group. She called Biden’s first pardons, commutations and “just modest steps” but urged him to “respond to the urgent need of the moment.”

Chettiar said that President Biden ran on the promise to end mass incarceration and that he had broad public support.

Donald Trump’s predecessor, Biden, gave 143 pardons to 237 people during his four-year tenure.

Trump sought advice from Alice Johnson , a Black prison reform advocate. Johnson was sentenced to a life sentence for a nonviolent drug crime that he was able to commute in 2018. As he considered applications for clemency, he was also lobbyed by Kim Kardashian and other advisers, such as Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump.

The Republican used his pardon authority for several political friends, including the former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Republican operative Roger Stone. He also helped Charles Kushner (the father-in-law to Ivanka Trump).

One of Trump’s last acts as president was to pardon his former chief strategist Steve Bannon, and Al Pirro (the husband of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro and Trump ally).

Prosecutors claimed that Bannon, who was not yet in court when he was pardoned for his crimes, had conned thousands of donors into believing their money would be used by Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall at the southern border. Instead, Bannon allegedly diverted over $1 million and paid a salary to one campaign official as well as personal expenses. Pirro was convicted of tax charges in 2000.

According to the White House, Biden has granted more clemency grants than any other president at this stage in their terms with Tuesday’s announcement of pardons, commutations, and so forth.

Biden also announced several new initiatives to assist formerly imprisoned people in finding employment. This issue is something that Biden’s administration believes is crucial to decreasing crime and preventing recidivism.

The Labor Department has allocated $140 million to programs that provide job training, pre-apprenticeship, digital literacy training, and pre-release or post-release career counseling for youth and incarcerated adult.

The $1 Trillion infrastructure bill passed last year by Congress includes three grant programs that, according to the administration, promote hiring of previously incarcerated persons. The Labor and Justice Departments announced Tuesday a joint plan to provide $145million over the next 12 months for job skills training, as well as individual employment and reentry plans.

Biden stated that the new initiatives are essential to help the 600,000+ people who are released each year from prison get back on solid ground.

Biden stated that helping those who have served their time to return home and be contributing members of their community is one of the best ways to decrease recidivism.