Near the end of this month, nearly 6000 federal drug offenders will be released from prison. According to the Wall Street Journal, eventually nearly 40,000 prisoners will be released.
The release is part of a deadline set by the United States Sentencing Commission. Last year, the USSC decided to reduce the sentences of approximately 46,000 federal inmates.
The inmates being released are minor drug offenders. Many of these people are already in half-way houses, or serving in-home compliment, often referred to as house arrest. Releases could begin as early as 1 November 2015.
The organization Families Against Mandatory Minimum hails the release as the right thing to do. They also stated that the public is not going to be harmed by these releases.
Federal judges in particular have been very critical of mandatory minimum sentences. One of the criticisms is that it takes discretion out of the hands of the judge.
Not everyone is in favor of the early release. Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association was quoted as saying: “the road to a larger American graveyard is paved with those so-called sentencing reform good intentions.”
The release currently does no apply to prisoners in state prisons.