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Former Inmate Gives Advice To Prisoners With Commuted Sentences

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

We wanted to hear from someone who has already had his sentence commuted. Norman Brown was in his early 20s when he was sentenced to life in prison for selling crack cocaine. Last year, after he'd been in prison for 24 years, President Obama commuted his sentence.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, Brown runs a group that helps ex-offenders ease their transition to life on the outside. We called him to ask if he had any advice for those whose sentences were commuted today. He said, work on your entire being.

NORMAN BROWN: Not just a job, not just clothes, not just computers, but work on your mental, your spiritual, your physical aspect of your entire being because you have to keep balance in order to properly merge back into society and to heal from all of the things that we may have picked up while we was incarcerated.

SIEGEL: That's Norman Brown, one of the now 673 inmates whose sentences have been commuted by President Obama. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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