The Justice Department will release as many as 6,000 nonviolent drug offenders from federal prison at the end of the month in one of the largest one-time discharges of inmates in the nation's history, federal officials said Tuesday.
The move, to occur from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, is being undertaken to ease overcrowding and scale back some of the harsh sentences meted out to nonviolent offenders in the 1980s and 1990s, The New York Times
The Bureau of Prisons is arranging for many of the inmates to first be moved into halfway houses, an official told the Times.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission created guidelines in April that lowered penalties for many nonviolent drug crimes, while making some of the changes retroactive.
Officials said then that the move affected as many 50,000 federal inmates sentenced under the earlier guidelines, the Times reports.
The guidelines resulted from increased support for a sentencing overhaul in the United States, which has a quarter of the world's prison population.
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