Lawmakers to introduce drug sentencing legislation

A bipartisan group of awmakers plans to introduce legislation in the Senate on Thursday that will give federal judges more discretion on sentencing those convicted of non-violent drug offenses.

The Smarter Sentencing Act, backed by Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate votes for North Macedonia to join NATO Zuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe MORE (R-Utah) Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg would support delaying Libra | More attorneys general join Facebook probe | Defense chief recuses from 'war cloud' contract | Senate GOP blocks two election security bills | FTC brings case against 'stalking' app developer Senate Republicans block two election security bills Democrats dig in ahead of Supreme Court ruling on 'Dreamers' MORE (D-Ill.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPartisan squabbles endanger congressional response to Trump's course on Syria Trump urged to hire chief strategist for impeachment fight The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Better Medicare Alliance - Trump's impeachment plea to Republicans MORE (R-Texas), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenators have chance to double funding for women entrepreneurs—they should take it On The Money: Trump dismisses 'phony Emoluments Clause' after Doral criticism | Senate Dems signal support for domestic spending package | House panel to consider vaping tax Senate Dems signal they'll support domestic spending package MORE (D-Vt.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), takes aim at the skyrocketing population of the federal prison system.  

Addressing rising costs and overcrowding are top priorities for the Justice Department this year.

Late last year, DOJ Inspector General said the prison population had decreased for the first time since 1980, dropping to 219,298 inmates at the end of fiscal year 2013 to 214,149 inmates at the end of fiscal year 2014. But the decrease, he said, has yet to yield a decrease in department costs with rising health care costs and an aging prison population that needs more care.