Feds to Widen Drug Clemency

    SHERIDAN, IL - NOVEMBER 14: Piotr Wietrzykowski (L) and Robert Svoboda sit in their cell at Sheridan Correctional Center November 14, 2005 in Sheridan, Illinois. A dedicated center for the treatment of inmates with drug and alcohol abuse problems, the state opened Sheridan in January 2004 to combat a recidivism rate of 54% in its penal system. Nearly 69 percent of all inmates in the Illinois prison system are serving time for drug or alcohol related offenses. The recidivism rate for prisoners who have served time at Sheridan is only 7.7 percent. Wietrzykowski who is in Sheridan for treatment of alcohol and marijuana abuse, is serving a five year sentence for Robbery related to his Substance Abuse. Svoboda is serving 4 years for forgery related to alcohol and heroin abuse. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    Scott Olson

    The Department of Justice announced Monday that it will expand the criteria it uses to decide which drug offenders will be recommended to the president for clemency. Exact details will be released later this week, but Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video address that thousands of prisoners may be eligible for reduced sentences. "There are still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime—and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime," he said.

    Read it at Reuters