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Monday, August 12, 2013

Holder Scales Back Use Of Harsh Drug Sentences

Prisoners reach through the bars at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., Jan. 18, 2008. Sometimes they use small mirrors to get a glimpse of their neighbors and the correctional officers. (AP)

Prisoners reach through the bars at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., Jan. 18, 2008. Sometimes they use small mirrors to get a glimpse of their neighbors and the correctional officers. (AP)

Attorney General Eric Holder says low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no link with gangs or organized crime will no longer be charged with crimes that impose harsh mandatory minimum sentences.

The U.S. prison population has increased by about one-third since the 1980s, when legislation was passed to get tough on the use of marijuana and crack cocaine.

Holder also announced that older, non-violent inmates will be released if it’s determined they pose no threat to the public.

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