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US Attorney General Supports Plan to Reduce Drug Sentences

  • VOA News

FILE - Attorney General Eric Holder testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing oversight hearing on the Justice Department.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is endorsing a proposal that would reduce prison sentences for certain drug offenses.

Holder will appear before the U.S. Sentencing Commission Thursday to testify in support of its proposal to reduce sentences of drug traffickers convicted in federal court.

The commission's proposal would reduce the federal prison population by about 6,550 inmates over the next five years. The United States has the world's largest prison population with over 215,000 people incarcerated in the federal system.

In his prepared testimony released Wednesday, Holder says the high prison population is not only "financially unsustainable," but comes with "human and moral costs that are impossible to calculate."

Holder's initiative to reduce federal prison sentences for certain drug-related crimes has won support from conservative lawmakers searching for ways to reduce federal spending.

The commission is expected to take action on the proposal in April.