Today Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce some substantial changes in how low-level drug offenders are prosecuted, overriding pre-existing federal laws that impose mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses.
The Justice Department will offer drug treatment programs for low-level offenders instead of jail time and early release for some current elderly inmates who have served much of their time and committed no violent offenses. Additionally, Holder will begin to defer many of these cases to state courts.
It's a policy change aimed at both correcting the racial injustices related to drug related prosecutions and reducing the prison population.
With us to discuss this is Carl Hart, professor of psychology at Columbia University and a drug researcher. He's also author of the book "High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society." Also weighing in is Neill Franklin, a former Maryland state police officer at the Baltimore Police Department and the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an organization of current and former police officers that work to redirect current drug policies.