James Cole

New clemency guidelines have been released by the Justice Department.

FOX News Radio's Rachel Sutherland reports from Washington:

Thousands of people doing time in federal prison for non-violent drug offenses could soon go free. Deputy Attorney General James Cole says many were convicted under out-of-date laws and sentenced under severe mandatory guidelines.

(Cole) "These older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today's laws erode people's confidence in our criminal justice system."

Clemency would only be offered to non-violent, low-level offenders with a record of good conduct in prison.

In Washington, Rachel Sutherland, FOX News Radio.