President Joe Biden will mark “Second Chance Month” at the White House on Tuesday, commuting the sentences of 75 people serving time for nonviolent drug offenses.
In a statement, Biden also pointed to his administration’s rollout of new steps aimed at supporting “those re-entering society after incarceration,” including job training and workforce development program grants.
“Today, I am pardoning three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” Biden said. “I am also commuting the sentences of 75 people who are serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses, many of whom have been serving on home confinement during the COVID-pandemic—and many of whom would have received a lower sentence if they were charged with the same offense today, thanks to the bipartisan First Step Act.”
Those receiving pardons include 86-year-old former Secret Service agent Abraham W. Bolden, 51-year-old Betty Jo Bogans, and 52-year-old Dexter Jackson. As pointed out by the Associated Press, Bolden was the first Black agent to serve on a presidential detail. Bolden, who has maintained his innocence, was charged in 1964 in connection with allegations of attempting to sell a copy of a Secret Service file. Per Bolden, however, he was targeted in the case as a retaliation for having spoken out about racism and other behaviors within the agency.
“While today’s announcement marks important progress, my administration will continue to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms that advance equity and justice, provide second chances, and enhance the wellbeing and safety of all Americans,” Biden added in his announcement on Tuesday.
For a full list of newly announced pardons and commutations, click here.