America has overly populated prisons. This is a fact. What we do with those prisoners, however, is a matter of policy and the Justice Department is set to open a whole new debate regarding prison sentencing and policies with the largest prisoner release in modern history.

6,000 prisoners will be released from federal prisons starting on October 30 and ending November 2. While the families of the prisoners will likely be overjoyed at the sooner-than-expected release of their loved ones, the Justice Department's actions open up a lot of questions for debate.

For once, President Obama and his executive orders aren't behind this government action. Though Obama is interested in limiting prison sentences for drug users, this 6,000 person release is something that the Justice Department passed through Congress last year.

The program is being referred to in judicial circles as Drug Minus 2, referencing the average of two years that the program is removing from drug offenders' sentences. According to the Justice Department the average years served of this batch of 6,000 inmates will be 8 1/2.

The Justice Department has released the news that 1/3 of the 6,000 inmates being released are foreign citizens. They will be immediately deported. The other 4,000 prisoners will gradually move through the probation system of half-way houses and home confinement until they are integrated back into society.

While it can be nice to think about the ways that this action will affect families these 6,000 prisoners being released are just the beginning of the Justice Department's plan. Reports say that after this program becomes more implemented 46,000 more inmates will be released.

That's a lot of people with hardened pasts back on the street. Granted, drug users aren't typically the most violent criminals that we find in our society, but these drug offenders will have been exposed to and absorbed some of the dangerous criminal elements that exist in our prisons.

So, America. Are you ready to welcome back these prisoners? If not, tell you elected leaders. Right now they're the ones who can stop this.

h/t: Washington Post

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