The corrections community is abuzz following word of Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement last week of a new Justice Department policy that seeks to avert harsh mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. Holder’s reform effort has garnered immediate support from notable political figures on both sides of the aisle, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the American Corrections Association. Support has focused on the reform’s potential to mitigate prison overcrowding and redirect corrections spending to social programs. With roughly 1.6 million individuals in state and federal correctional facilities—more than 330,000 of whom were incarcerated for drug offenses in 2011—there is certainly reason to be optimistic.
Source: Child Trends