EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSU.S. Attorney General Calls For Changes To Criminal Justice System
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 13, 2013 9:52 AM EDT
Washington, D.C. , West Virginia
Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for major changes to the nation's criminal justice system -- including scaling back the use of harsh sentences for some drug-related crimes.
The appeal comes as the nation faces massive overcrowding in its prisons.
In remarks to the American Bar Association in San Francisco, Holder also said he favors diverting people convicted of low-level offenses to drug treatment and community service programs. And he wants to expand a prison program to allow for release of some elderly, nonviolent offenders.
He said prisons should be used to "punish, deter and rehabilitate" -- not to "convict, warehouse and forget."
The attorney general said he is changing Justice Department policy, so that low-level, nonviolent drug offenders with no ties to large-scale organizations won't be charged with offenses that impose mandatory minimum sentences.
There is already some bipartisan support in Congress for Holder's ideas. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of
Kentucky said he is encouraged by the administration's view that mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders promote injustice and don't serve public safety.
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, says he looks forward to working on the issue with Holder and senators on both sides of the aisle who support change.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Home | Eyewitness News Newsroom | Storm Team Weather | Eyewitness Sports | Schedules
Send email to email@example.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2013, WCHS-TV8. Portions are
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.
WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.