How has the federal drug guideline changed?

Federal drug penalties have been rolled back and this has affected some 300 people who are incarcerated in Florida for federal drug charges. Approximately 120 of these inmates are to be released immediately. They were sentenced in Tampa, Florida. The drawback to this massive release is that halfway houses are going to be a bit overwhelmed, because they normally take the inmates and have them live in their houses for several months after they are released from jail.

As a matter of fact, most of those people who were released recently have not been assigned to a halfway house at all. They were released to relatives and will serve out their sentence at home under house arrest. This could last anywhere from four to six months.

It may feel like going home to them, but they have to be present when the police come to visit or they will end up back in jail on escape charges. The reason for the change in federal law was that the prisons were overfilled with people who committed petty drug crimes. There just wasn’t enough bed space for everyone.

The rollback is called "Drugs Minus 2" and is called this because of the number of steps that were subtracted from the sentencing guidelines. These rollbacks are retroactive to last year and will see about 4,300 released nationwide. Thousands more will be released later and many will be released because their sentences were reduced. The average for Florida is of 122 months reduced to 100 months, which is an 18 percent reduction.

If you are caught with drugs, you know how hard it can be to avoid going to prison. You can learn more about the sentencing reductions from an experienced attorney.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, "300 Florida prisoners go free as drug penalties are rolled back," Elaine Silvestrini, Nov. 01, 2015


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