President Obama is laying out a weeks-long campaign for criminal justice reform that will include visits with ex-prisoners and trips to cities riddled with drug addiction.

In his weekly address Saturday, Obama renewed his push for a “fairer and smarter” criminal justice system at a time when he has faced heavy scrutiny for both policing and sentencing issues over the last year.

He announced Saturday that he has planned trips to “highlight some of the Americans who are doing their part to fix our criminal justice system,” including meetings with law enforcement officers, former prisoners and community members most familiar with substance abuse.

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“Ever since I was a Senator, I’ve talked about how, in too many cases, our criminal justice system is a pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails,” Obama said.

Obama touted some progress he's already made, including a bill that he said reduces “the 100 to 1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.” He’s also cut the sentences for dozens of drug offenders, taking a stand against mandatory minimum sentences.

The president also vowed to work with members of Congress “who are determined to get criminal justice reform bills to my desk,” specifically highlighting a bipartisan Senate bill to reduce mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders. 

He said he is “encouraged” by the bill, which has been supported by a group of strange bedfellows including Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeFairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act exposes Silicon Valley's hollow diversity slogans Overnight Defense: Senate rejects effort to restrict Trump on Iran | Democrats at debate vow to shore up NATO | Senate confirms chief of Space Command Senate sets new voting record with Iran war measure MORE (R-Utah) and Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Lawyer: Flynn will keep cooperating after co-conspirator revelations Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act exposes Silicon Valley's hollow diversity slogans MORE (R-Ky) to Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip Democrats want investigation into cost, legality of Trump's July Fourth event MORE (D-Vt.) and Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinProblem Solvers Caucus co-chair calls Trump comments about progressive congresswomen 'totally unacceptable' Trump's tweets unify a fractured Democratic Party Sunday shows - Immigration raids dominate MORE (D-Ill). The bill is now making its way to the House, though its chances are far from certain.

Outside pressure for criminal justice reform has increased over the last year, particularly with the surging Black Lives Matter movement that has been fueled by controversial police shootings.

“This is progress – not liberal ideas or conservative ideas, but common-sense solutions to the challenges we face,” Obama said.

The president is turning his attention back to sentencing reform after a speech in July when he laid out an ambitious criminal justice agenda that many saw as a marker for his final year in office.

In the speech, he called for reforms on the use of solitary confinement and employers consideration of criminal history in hiring decisions.