For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Meghan Groob, 202-417-7547,

ACLU Comment on DOJ Plans to Reduce Non-Violent Drug Sentences

WASHINGTON - Laura W. Murphy, director of American Civil Liberties Union's Washington Legislative Office, responded to Attorney General Eric Holder's proposed policy to reverse the growth of the federal prison population in advance of a speech today at the American Bar Association's Annual Meeting:

"Today, the attorney general is taking crucial steps to tackle our bloated federal mass incarceration crisis, and we are thrilled by these long-awaited developments.

"By mandating that U.S. attorneys change charging practices for low-level, non-violent offenders, these policies will make it more likely that wasteful and harmful federal prison overcrowding will end. Over the last year, in one of the few areas of bipartisanship, members of Congress have come together to call for smart criminal justice reform. While today's announcement is an important step toward a fairer justice system, Congress must change the laws that lock up hundreds of thousands of Americans unfairly and unnecessarily."

Throughout Eric Holder's tenure, going back to the successful passage of the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010, the ACLU has worked closely with the attorney general, his staff, and DOJ leadership to develop several of the policy changes announced today.

For more on the ACLU's work on criminal justice reform, see:

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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