The Department of Justice is set to release 6,000 inmates with a non-violent drug charge from federal prison between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, 2015. These actions resulted from a decision made in 2014 to reduce potential punishment for future drug offenders by the U.S. Sentencing Commission that includes retroactive enforcement.
After the initial release, an estimated 8,500 inmates are to be released through Nov. 1, 2016. Overall, this movement could lead 46,000 out of 100,000 non-violent drug criminals to ultimate freedom. This is a great step forward for American society as a whole as we change our focus from mass incarceration to rehabilitation for drug offenders. Below is a breakdown of FAQ’s regarding the so called “Drugs Minus Two” amendment.
How did the Drug Law Change?
Traditionally, a numeric system is used to sentence drug offenders to federal prison, based on criminal history, type of crime, involvement of weapons (especially guns), and level of leadership in the group of drug users and sellers. A non-violent drug charge is now considered two levels lower, taking down the average drug charge prison time from 10 to eight years. It is labeled “Drugs Minus Two” in reference to the two level reduction. Beginning Oct. 30, 2015, the law will go into effect retroactively, releasing all prisoners who now qualify for a reduced sentence or have over served considering the new law.
Is the Release Automatic?
No, although in most cases, inmates who file, do so because their case applies. A judge can deny an applicant if there were questionable actions mentioned in the initial trial, but in most cases, inmates are denied based on inappropriate behavior during their incarceration period, post drug charge.
Do Inmates Need a Lawyer?
Although it is not necessary, the legal system encourages applicants to hire an attorney who is familiar with criminal defense and drug charges. If a loved one has been excessively sentenced for a non-violent drug charge and there is a chance “Drugs Minus Two” could apply to their case, contact Kyle Law Firm servicing San Marcos, New Braunfelsand Seguin. The skilled attorneys at Kyle Law Firm can handle any drug charge, whether you have a loved one in prison, or you have just received your first drug charge.