If you were an inmate serving hard time in prison, you’d probably love it if the President of the United States granted you clemency which would allow you to get released from prison early. President Barack Obama has already granted clemency to more than 700 prisoners throughout the United States who were convicted of non-violent drug related charges. However, one prisoner said “no thanks” to that offer.
Arnold Ray Jones made history by becoming the first inmate to refuse President Obama’s generous offer to grant him an early release from federal prison. The 50-year-old inmate has been serving time in a low-security federal prison since the year 2002 for dealing cocaine. According to information gathered from the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ website, Jones was originally scheduled to be released in April of 2019. If he had participated in the clemency program organized by President Obama, Jones could have been released in August of 2018.
Now the big question, why on earth would Jones refuse the chance to get out of prison early? Well, it turns out that the clemency program has certain conditions in which the inmates have to abide by. One of those conditions involves the inmates having to sign up for a residential drug treatment program. Jones apparently already tried other drug treatment programs in the past without any positive results. Although he didn’t share his reason for turning the clemency down, it probably has to do with him not wanting to go through the intensive treatment that’s involved with the Residential Drug Abuse Program that he’d have to participate in.
President Obama’s clemency program is all about giving non-violent drug offenders a second chance at freedom. Many people who are in prison are there because of these kinds of crimes, which means they’re not a direct threat to anyone’s life on the outside. Usually, people get involved with dealing or abusing drugs when they’re younger and then end up ruining their whole lives over it. President Obama is trying to help more people get out of this situation by offering this program to them.