Six thousand federal prisoners will be release one-time as part of a policy change by the U.S. Sentencing Commission referred to as “Drug Minus Two.” The federal prisoners will be released between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2.
Under the “Drugs Minus Two” a minimum of two years will be remove from the sentencing of eligible prisoners. An inmate who is supposed to serve 10 ½ years in prison but found eligible under the new policy will be released if he already served 8 ½ years.
The Commission that pushed for “Drug Minus Two” estimated that the new policy will eventually release a total of 46,000 drug offenders out of the 100,000 federal prisoners already identified as qualified for early release. The first 6,000 prisoners to be release is describe as “the largest one-time release of federal prisoners” by The Washington Post.
Two-thirds of those who will be released will first go to halfway houses and home confinement and will then be released with supervision. About one third are foreign citizens who will be immediately deported upon being freed. The Sentencing Commission estimated that there will be an additional 8,550 inmates that will be qualified for release between Nov. 1, 2015 and Nov. 1, 2016.
The Bureau of Prisons is at the helm of releasing the prisoners. In an announcement on Tuesday, the Bureau said it ended Fiscal Year 2015 with 8,426 fewer inmates compared to 2014. The reduced population resulted to a decrease in overcrowding from 39 percent in 2013 to 23 percent for 2015. The Bureau expects the population to decline by another 12,000 inmates by the end of FY 2016. This will result in an overall reduction of more than 11 percent over a period of three years.