WASHINGTON (AP) – A panel formed by Congress is recommending ways to reduce the federal prison population by 60,000 inmates and save more than $5 billion.
The Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections issued recommendations Tuesday for steps the Justice Department, Congress, judges and prison officials can take to cut the prison population.
The nine-member panel recommended a total overhaul of mandatory minimum penalties and encouraged the Justice Department to limit the types of cases prosecuted at the federal level.
It also suggests a broader use of probation for low-level offenders, instead of prison.
There are more than 196,000 convicts in federal custody. The panel says that if all of its recommendations were implemented, the federal inmate count could drop by 60,000 by 2024.