(CNN)In a few weeks, some 6,000 inmates will be released from federal prison because of sweeping changes in U.S. sentencing guidelines for nonviolent drug offenses, approved last year.
Senate considering big changes
- Remove the "three strikes" law that calls for mandatory life sentences
- Allow 6,500 crack cocaine offenders to challenge their sentences by retroactively applying a 2010 bill that leveled the penalties for crack and powder cocaine
- Reduce solitary confinement in juvenile facilities
- Empower judges to use more discretion by abandoning mandatory sentencing guidelines
Obama wants prison reform to be his legacy
Massive prisoner release
- "America has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners. Nearly 2½ million Americans are in prison. Over 65 million people, or 20% of the country, have criminal records. Most disturbingly, nearly 40% of our country's prisoners are African-Americans, who only make up 13% of the general population."