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President Trump is expected to declare a national state of emergency over the opioid epidemic on Thursday. This could increase resources available to tackle the issue.
Senate Judiciary Committee members reintroduced a criminal justice reform bill which would increase judicial discretion in sentencing, reduce sentences for some nonviolent drug offenders, and expand reentry services for prisoners.
The bill would encourage states to embolden their reform efforts, even while Attorney General Jeff Sessions attempts to increase the federal prison population.
Congress’ previous Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act increased judicial discretion in sentencing, reduced sentences for some nonviolent drug offenders, and expanded reentry services for prisoners.
The move was one of the major initiatives recommended by the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
The discussion will likely cover new, major initiatives stemming from a presidential commission on opioid abuse — up to and including a declaration of a national “state of emergency.”
The recommendations are expected to focus on cutting down on unnecessary medical use of opiates and other measures designed to prevent addiction.
The panel's suggestions to Attorney General Jeff Sessions will likely result in changes to drug and immigration policy, and have already led to changes in civil asset forfeiture policy.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to announce an expansion of the government’s asset forfeiture program
The legislation uses the power of the purse to reduce incarceration and crime at the same time. It attempts to counter archaic “tough on crime” policies coming from the Attorney General.