President Barack Obama has called for sweeping reforms to the US criminal justice system including curbing the use of solitary confinement and voting rights for felons.

He said lengthy mandatory minimum sentences should be reduced – or thrown out entirely and urged Congress to pass a sentencing reform bill by year’s end.

Speaking to a gathering of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Philadelphia, Mr Obama said US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been tasked with reviewing the overuse of solitary confinement.

Tomorrow, Mr. Obama will be the first sitting president to visit a federal prison – part of a weeklong focus by the White House on the criminal justice system.

 

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