>> The US Justice Department ordering federal prosecutors across the country to get tough on crime.>> Going forward, I have empowered our prosecutors to charge and pursue the most serious offense, as I believe the law requires. Most serious readily provable offense.>> The move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions reverses an Obama administration policy aimed at easing penalties for some non-violent drug violations.
Reuters correspondent, Julia Hart.>> What the Attorney General did was, to rescind an Obama-era policy that urged federal prosecutors to seek the sentences and the charges that would be most beneficial overall to the country. So prioritizing violent criminals, not spending resources on non-violent, low-level drug crimes, in an effort to avoid prison crowding, and generally save money.
>> Sessions' decision sparking criticism from both sides of the aisle. Opponents saying the new guidelines are a return to outdated, disproven approaches to crime.>> They argue that these policies have already been tried in the 80s and 90s. When the current mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes were established, there was a much harsher approach to such crimes.
And they argue, the groups that oppose the attorney general's action argue, that returning to those is just bad policy.>> The move however, is a good fiscal policy for private prisons. Stock of the two biggest private prison operators, CoreCivic and GEO Group, have doubled since Trump's November victory.