Thousands of federal inmates are getting out of prison because of a change in the way the U.S. government sentences drug criminals. It's part of a broader movement to reconsider tough-on-crime laws that were passed during the War on Drugs.
The decision to change sentencing guidelines — and apply the changes retroactively — was made last year, but the release of any inmates was delayed until this weekend.
Leaders at the Justice Department supported the changes. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates recently told Congress it's a myth that federal prisons house only the worst of the worst. When it comes to drug offenses, Yates said, only 16 percent of federal prison inmates used a weapon in connection with their crime.
Here is what else there is to know about the release, which began Friday and continues Monday: