Long-time prisoners are receiving fresh chances at freedom through the Minnesota Clemency Project which is reviewing many cases in order to determine who is safe to let back out into the wide world. As long as the surrounding circumstances are mostly nugatory and the committed crime was not infused with violence then there are plenty of opportunities for prisoners to return to the community for another chance at proper living.

The primary criteria which must be met are pretty straightforward. First of all, the prisoner must be being held in federal custody where changes in law have set new standards so that if the same crime was committed today then the modern law procedure would result in a substantially lesser sentence. The second important attribute is that the prisoner has been non-violent both during and after the crime. The idea is that the Minnesota Clemency Project will only be offered to lower level criminals who do not have any known ties to larger organizations, gangs and cartels.

The project rallies around the idea that 10 years should be enough for reform in many instances, and so if a prisoner has served at least 10 years then they are ready to be brought up for consideration. This gives new chances to many instead of allowing them to simply languish away inside the confinements of a cell which can often bring nothing but resentment and anger towards authorities and the system which caused the incarceration. Those who are exhibiting good conduct while in prison are to be considered, and this gives an extra incentive to keep activity proper so that the plethora of stabbings, rapes, and other violence does not become the only viable option.

The Clemency Project offers assistance at no charge to the inmates which keeps the opportunity available to all in a fair and reasonable fashion. There are no built-in prejudices and such that would favor an inmate over another based on some type of trivial difference such as race or outlook. Prisoners can get free assistance from lawyers working with the project in order that their cases will best be vetted and given the proper consideration. Even law students can find their niche and gain valuable experience by working with this program in the early years of their study and career. This is touted as one of Obama’s more important initiatives as he was leaving office earlier this year.