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Attorney General Eric Holder has called for major changes to our nation’s criminal justice system to eliminate harsh prison sentences for certain drug-related crimes, divert people convicted of low-level offenses to drug treatment programs and expand the prison program to allow the release of convicted non-violent prisoners who are elderly.

Mandatory minimum prison sentences, which was introduced in the 80′s during the war on drugs,  limited the discretion of judges to impose shorter prison sentences for petty crimes.

This effort is to stop the overcrowding of our jails. Currently, federal prisons are operating at nearly 40 percent above capacity and holding more than 219,000 inmates, almost half of them serving time for drug-related crimes.

“We need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter and rehabilitate — not merely to convict, warehouse and forget,” said Attorney General Holder.

Attorney General Holder Proposes Changes To The Criminal Justice System  was originally published on kissrichmond.com