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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

FEDERAL EFFORTS BEGIN TO CHANGE MANDATORY DRUG SENTENCING

Posted on in Chicago criminal defense lawyer

On Monday, August 12, 2013, the Obama administration revealed its plan to eliminate long-term mandatory minimum sentences for many low-level, non-violent drug offenses.  With U.S. federal prisons nearly 40% above capacity, with almost half of the inmates serving time for drug-related offenses, the goal is to reduce the length of a non-violent offender’s sentence, while simultaneously reducing the prison population and saving billions of dollars for the U.S.

Rather than following the current mandatory minimum sentencing laws, the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is recommending sending people convicted of low-level offenses to drug treatment programs and community service programs.  The intent is changing from convicting and incarcerating to getting help and treatment for the significant number of inmates suffering from substance abuse disorders.

Other efforts are also being made to take into consideration early release for those inmates convicted of non-violent crimes who are elderly or suffer from serious medical conditions and have already served a significant portion of their sentence.

Additionally, the U.S. Attorney General has issued a mandate to change the charging policies for certain low-level, non-violent drug offenders with no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs, or cartels, so that they will no longer be facing offenses which carry mandatory minimum sentences.

This is the first step the federal government has taken to change its approach to the long-standing war on drugs.  It is unknown at this time whether or not any of the States will follow suit with their prosecution of non-violent drug offenses.

If you&ve been accused of a drug related crime, it is important to contact a qualified DuPage County criminal defense attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected.

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