On Thursday the seven-member U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) announced a unanimously vote on addressing concerns related to mandatory minimum prison penalties.
Holder stated the U.S. Department of Justice (the DOJ) would target long mandatory sentences that plagued America's courts for decades.
Judges claimed to have had their hands tied when dishing out sentences at times when they thought it was best to consider alternatives.
U.S. Federal Judge Patti Saris, who is also the USSC chairman, commented:
"With a growing crisis in federal prison populations and budgets, it is timely and important for us to examine mandatory minimum penalties and drug sentences, which contribute significantly to the federal prison population."
If there are less low-level drug offenders who've been sentenced to prison, it could result to more money that could be used to combating crime on the front end, rather than the back [with incarceration].
The commission's actions officially puts mandatory minimums at the top of their to-do list, and they encourage a working partnership with Congress on federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines changes.
They (the commission) want Congress to lighten the severity and broad scope of mandatory minimum penalties. They also want an expansion of a law that exempts certain low-level nonviolent offenders from mandatory minimum prison terms.
D.C. returning citizen Dan Alt commented, "It's about time that the sentencing commission is open to seeing things a little differently."