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Texas sheriffs worry about the release of drug offenders

When you go to jail or prison for a drug crime, it doesn't mean you've been violent or even that you were selling drugs to others. You may have been smoking marijuana when you were stopped and arrested, or you may have had an addiction to a substance like cocaine or heroin.

What the government wants to do is to make sure that your penalty fits the crime. Your attorney will fight for you to protect your rights, but sometimes the severity of sentencing laws don't match the crime. When that happens, laws may be changed later, and those changes may affect your sentence retroactively.

That kind of situation has drawn some concerns in Texas, because there will be 6,000 people marked as felons released from federal prisons. In Texas, only 578 people will be released. The rest will be spread around the United States. These people are being released because of concerns that their sentences were too harsh and because the prisons in the United States are becoming overcrowded.

These federal prisoners, many of whom will be placed in halfway houses and federal programs, should not pose a huge concern, but for a past president of the state's Sheriff's Association, there are serious concerns regarding the pending release. The sheriff claims that the federal prisoners deserve to serve the sentences they received, but reintegration is on the minds of others.

One father who was asked about the situation stated that people just have to hope that those who are released back into society have had a change of heart and will not be causing any further trouble.

Source: Keye TV, "Mass release of drug felons big concern for Texas law enforcement," Walt Maciborski, Oct. 29, 2015

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Law Offices of Frank Jackson
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