In a significant shift, a new poll finds that two-thirds of Americans favor drug policies that emphasize treatment, not prison sentences, for those who use illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
Attorney General Eric Holder expressed support Thursday for a proposal by the US Sentencing Commission to amend its recommended sentences. The guidelines are part of a bigger recalibration of the war on drugs.
At least 12,000 federal prisoners can seek reductions in their sentences for crack cocaine offenses, after a ruling Thursday by the US Sentencing Commission. The stiff sentences, meted out between 1984 and 2010, hit the black community hard.
Attitudes about one of the toughest crime measures from the 1980s may be changing.
Of the 19,500 drug offenders eligible over the next 30 years to apply for early release, 3,417 have had their sentences reduced as of Monday.