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Sat Aug 3, 2019, 08:40 AM

O'Rourke to visit inmates inside California's San Quentin

WASHINGTON (AP) Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is planning to visit San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco on Saturday to meet with inmates and have them lead him on a tour of the facility a rare peek behind bars for a White House hopeful.

The former Texas congressman will spend part of his time with inmates who are close to finishing their sentences, discussing ways to improve the "re-entry" process into society and to combat recidivism. He will also conduct an interview with "Ear Hustle," a podcast produced by inmates inside the all-male prison that is California's oldest.

President Barack Obama visited El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, a medium-security facility for male offenders in Oklahoma, in July 2015, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to set foot inside a federal prison. Obama was calling then for shortening the sentences of non-violent drug offenders and advocating for the reduction, or outright elimination, of severe mandatory minimum sentences.

O'Rourke's visit follows his attending a roundtable Thursday in Las Vegas, where he spoke with formerly incarcerated people about restoring voting rights, providing better training and education for former prisoners and overhauling the criminal justice system. A new Nevada law restores voting rights to inmates automatically upon their release from prison something O'Rourke supports.

Read more: https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/government/ap/o-rourke-to-visit-inmates-inside-california-s-san-quentin/article_b3d11053-b8cf-502d-aae7-3a93d1f8d9dc.html

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