States Lead Feds in Easing Sentences for Nonviolent Drug Offenders

And in backing off drug prohibition


In a major policy change already in place in some states, Attorney General Eric Holder Monday announced that the federal government will move away from mandatory prison sentences for drug offenses and will release some nonviolent elderly prisoners who pose no public safety threat. …

His plan mirrors the approaches taken in many states to reserve prison resources for violent criminals and funnel drug offenders into treatment programs or community supervision. Holder praised efforts in 17 states to redirect criminal justice resources into community-based treatment and supervision, a plan known as Justice Reinvestment.