President Obama visits federal prison in El Reno

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EL RENO,  Okla. - President Obama wrapped up his visit to Oklahoma Thursday.

The President was in Durant Wednesday, talking about expanding internet access in low-income communities like the Choctaw Nation.

Thursday, he visited the federal prison in El Reno.

El Reno Prison pics 3

Canadian County keeping watch.

The White House says the President talked with prison officials and inmates at the correctional facility there.

He is calling for lawmakers to reduce unnecessarily harsh sentences, especially for non-violent drug offenders.

Just this week, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders.

“These men and women were not hard criminals,” the President said. “Their punishment did not fit the crime."

In fact, 14 of those offenders had been sentenced to life.

“I believe at its heart, America is a nation of second chance, and I believe these folks deserve their second chance,” he added.

Experts say he is just getting started.

His first round of commutations came back in 2013, and Jason Hernandez was one of the first.

Hernandez served 17 years in prison for a non-violent crack cocaine offense - seven of those years were at El Reno.

Hernandez is living with his family in the Dallas area now.

He is holding down two jobs and plans to advocate for other federal inmates facing long sentences for crack cocaine charges.

Before 2010, drug dealers charged with crack cocaine offenses faced sentences 10 to 100 times longer than powder cocaine, even though it's the same substance.

The law is changed now, and President Obama has commuted the sentences for inmates like Hernandez, giving them a second chance at life.

"I just feel like with what the President has given to me, I have a duty or a responsibility to try and spotlight. To try and humanize the individuals who are in prison. They are not just a statistic. They are somebody's father. Somebody's son. Everybody knows the statistics, but what they don't know is who's in there," Hernandez said.

Many of the inmates at the El Reno federal prison are hoping they will get to talk with President Obama.

Our Commander In Chief will also conduct an interview for a vice documentary that will air in the fall about the realities of our criminal justice system.

It was the first time a sitting president has visited a federal prison.

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K9 units are searching all vehicles at the El Reno federal prison where President Obama is scheduled to visit.

El Reno Prison pics 4

K9 units are searching all vehicles at the El Reno federal prison where President Obama is scheduled to visit.

Watch the VICE documentary about the president's visit below.

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