Fw: in town pool report 4

From: John Stanton
Sent: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 12:32 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: in town pool report 4

here's the background from the white house  on the folks president obama is meeting with this afternoon.

The President is having lunch at Busboys and Poets with commutation recipients from both his administration and the previous administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to hear directly from them about their first-hand experiences with the reentry process and ways that the process can be strengthened. In 2009, Busboys and Poets banned the box for its employees and the restaurant's owner, Andy Shallal, who currently serves as Chairman of the D.C. Workforce Investment Council, testified in front of the Washington D.C. City Council when the city-wide ban the box bill was up for debate and passed in 2014.

Participants

President Obama's Administration

Ramona Brant

In 1994, Brant was charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine and convicted based on testimony from other members of the drug ring. She was sentenced to life in prison. When she was arrested, her two sons were three and four years old. They grew up with both parents serving life sentences. While incarcerated, Brant completed a 500-hour drug treatment program that offers some inmates early release, even though given her life sentence she was not eligible for any benefits. She earned a certificate in business with legal application from Maris College. She also spent time as a companion for those on suicide watch. Brant was granted clemency by President Obama on December 18, 2015, and at the age of 52, was released from prison on February 2, 2016.

Norman Brown

Brown, then in his 20s, was handed a life-sentence in the early 1990s after he was tried and convicted of possession and distribution of crack cocaine. While incarcerated, Brown focused on mentoring other inmates and did not have a single disciplinary violation during the 20 years he served. Brown, who is now 48, filed his petition for commutation in 2010 and was granted commutation by President Obama on November 10, 2015. Brown has a daughter who was born after he was incarcerated and he currently works part-time at a law office. Brown plans to continue what is now his life's mission - helping others - and he volunteers at a local organization mentoring at-risk youth.

Angie Jenkins

In 1998, Jenkins received a 30-year sentence for methamphetamine manufacturing and distribution. Last December, President Obama granted her clemency, having served 17 years of her sentence. While incarcerated, she volunteered and formed Bible Study Groups, prayer groups, and for six years held a monthly fellowship group for the other inmate women. Since being incarcerated, Jenkins has completed her GED and computer classes. She is currently working full-time at J & P Wholesale Lumber Company.

President George W. Bush's Administration

Phillip Emmert

In 1992, Emmert was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He spent 14 years in federal prison and was granted clemency by President Bush in December 2006. Emmert turned his life around in prison, beat his addictions, became deeply religious, took job training and volunteered at a hospice for inmates. After his release, Emmert used the job training he received in prison to land a position maintaining air-handling systems at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City.

Michael Dwayne Short

In 1990, Short was charged with aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine base. He was sentenced to 19 years and served 15 years. While incarcerated, he obtained an Associate's Degree in Business Management from Park University in 1995, became a certified personal trainer and received a Nutrition Specialist Degree in 2006 from Professional Career Development Institute. Short was granted clemency in 2007 and is currently employed by a pest control company where he has worked for the last seven years.

President Clinton's Administration

Serena Nunn

In 1989, Nunn was arrested and charged, along with 23 other people, with participating in a conspiracy and aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine. Nunn was sentenced to 15 years and eight months in federal prison.In July 2000, President Clinton granted her clemency.Four days later, she was enrolled at Arizona State University, where she earned a degree in political science. Nunn went on to the University of Michigan Law School, graduating in May 2006. She currently works as a public defender in the City of Atlanta, GA.

Kemba Smith

In 1994, Smith turned herself into the authorities seven months pregnant and pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine for her abusive boyfriend's drug activities. After spending six and half years in prison, Smith was granted clemency in December 2000 by President Clinton. Smith has since earned her Bachelor's degree in social work and has received many awards for her advocacy and activism. She is currently an advocate and public speaker, using her personal story to educate others about the social, economic and political consequences of our nation's current drug sentencing policies.

--
John Stanton
Buzzfeed.com
DC Bureau Chief

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