The United States government plans to release 6,000 prisoners who were incarcerated for non-violent drug crimes. It’s the largest one-time release of federal inmates.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the release will take place from October 30 to November 2. The move is an extension of the White House and DOJ’s smarter approach to non-violent drug offenses.

“It’s a great first step in addressing a very longstanding problem of over-incarceration,” said Gary Feldon, chair of the American Bar Association’s Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice Criminal Justice. “It’s indicative of a general mood in the country on both sides of the aisle, where there’s real interest in remedying over incarceration.”

The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously last year to reduce federal drug sentences by an average of two years. That, coupled with the massive releases, is expected to have huge impacts and set the course for releases to continue in the near future.

The federal government spends millions of dollars on housing prisoners each year, most of which are non-violent drug offenders. Releasing non-violent criminals who serve disproportionately long terms for lesser crimes sets a new, hopeful precedent.

For more on this story, visit VICE News “The US Is Going to Let Nearly 6,000 Drug Offenders Out of Federal Prison Early”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced