Our Prison State, Ctd.

The NYT reports today that approximately 50,000 prisoners serving time for drug violations will be eligible to seek early release next year. This is following the United States Sentencing Commission’s April vote to reduce penalties for drug offenses across the board. It represents continued pressure from both parties to scale back efforts made in the 80s to tackle crime (previously discussed in this space here). Money quote:

The Sentencing Commission said the move would help ease prison overcrowding and reduce prison spending, which makes up about a third of the Justice Department’s budget. The change comes amid a bipartisan effort to roll back the harshest penalties set during the height of the drug war.

Let’s give credit where it’s due and hope there’s more to come.

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