August 12, 2013

Sen. Whitehouse Praises AG Holder’s Proposed Reforms for Drug Crimes

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, released the statement below regarding the new series of initiatives announced today by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to give federal prosecutors greater flexibility when prosecuting low-level drug crimes:

“The policies outlined by Attorney General Holder today will allow federal prosecutors to use their limited resources more effectively by prioritizing high-level drug offenders over low-level, non-violent offenders.  This will make better use of federal dollars while also keeping our communities safe and helping drug offenders turn their lives around.  I stand ready to help the Department of Justice advance these proposals in Congress.”

Senator Whitehouse has long supported alternative law enforcement approaches.  During his time as Rhode Island’s Attorney General he opened the state’s first drug courts, and was an early supporter of reentry programs that help prisoners transition back into communities.  In 2011, he held a hearing of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism that examined the success and cost-effectiveness of special drug and veterans treatment courts in rehabilitating low-level offenders and protecting public safety.  That same year, Attorney General Holder visited Rhode Island with Whitehouse to learn more about the state’s veterans court.


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