EXECUTIVE

Obama cuts prison sentences for 42 drug offenders

In this photo taken May 4, 2016, President Barack Obama speaks in Washington. The Obama administration on Thursday, May 5, 2016, commuted the prison sentences of 58 federal convicts, including 18 who were given life sentences. The action is part of a broader effort to overhaul the criminal justice system and ease punishments for nonviolent drug offenders. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In this photo taken May 4, 2016, President Barack Obama speaks in Washington. The Obama administration on Thursday, May 5, 2016, commuted the prison sentences of 58 federal convicts, including 18 who were given life sentences. The action is part of a broader effort to overhaul the criminal justice system and ease punishments for nonviolent drug offenders. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  (Associated Press Wash DC)

President Obama is commuting the sentences of 42 people convicted of drug-related offenses.

Obama's latest round of clemency brings to 348 the total number of sentences Obama has commuted since taking office. The pace has increased substantially as Obama approaches the end of his presidency.

Roughly half of the 42 receiving commutations Friday were serving life sentences. Most are nonviolent offenders, although a few were also charged with firearms violations.

Obama's commutation shortens their sentences, with most of the inmates set to be released October 1.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston says Obama will keep using his clemency power to give deserving individuals a second chance. Obama has pushed to overhaul the criminal justice system but a bipartisan effort has struggled to maintain momentum.