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Local reaction to minimum mandatory sentences
PENSACOLA -- Around America and right here in Pensacola there are mixed feelings about the proposed changes.
There's a good chance many people who are convicted of low- level drug offenses will get to walk out the doors of the court house rather than into a prison cell.
Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. says too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no reason.
Gloria Goodwin agrees.
"I feel like maybe if they got short term or fines or probation that would help" says Goodwin.
"I think drugs are being are a big problem in this town and that they need to get what they deserve" says Norman Eddy.
The opinions on this issue here in Northwest Florida are mixed. But Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. says changing the sentencing guidelines are a must. he says as a Nation we cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming safer.
So he offers this alternative.
"They now will be charged with offenses for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins" says US Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.
Still, It's not how some want the system to work.
"They aren't going to learn by staying out on the street" says Norman Eddy.
Many in the community and even elected officials say there is a better solution. They want to see more low level drug offenders take part in drug treatment or community service programs.