Senate overwhelming passes criminal justice overhaul bill

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AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON  – The Senate has passed a sweeping criminal justice overhaul supported by groups on the left and right, handing President Donald Trump a victory as Congress prepares to adjourn for the holidays.

The bill gives judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders and boosts prisoner rehabilitation efforts. It also reduces the life sentence for some drug offenders with three convictions, or “three strikes,” to 25 years. The changes would only apply to federal prisoners.

The Senate vote is the culmination of years of negotiations aimed at addressing concerns that the nation’s war on drugs has exploded the prison population without helping people prepare for their return to society.

The vote in the Senate Tuesday was 87-12.

The House is also expected to pass the measure this week, sending it to Trump for his signature.

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