The Justice Department, operating upon the actions of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, are set to free 6,000 federal prisoners in the nation's largest one-time release. The move is designed to reduce prison overcrowding and is set to occur between Oct. 30-Nov. 2.
The release is the first batch in what some estimate might become nearly 46,000 prisoners released early under the program.
The release is part of an overall change in the way the federal government is approaching so-called nonviolent, low-level drug offenders. Prosecutors within the Justice Department have been instructed to not charg offenders when no ties to gangs or drug dealing exists and the offense was nonviolent.
It remains to be seen what the fallout from the Justice Department release will be. Drug use or possession, while in and of itself often a nonviolent occurrence, frequently accompanies other criminal activity such as theft and assault.
Another group of nearly 8,550 inmates are eligible to be released between Nov. 1, 2015 - Nov. 1, 2016.