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Budget Control Act of 2011
Reducing drug sentences a big job for judiciary

When a federal judicial panel voted this year to reduce the sentences of thousands of inmates serving time for federal drug crimes, the move won praise from the Justice Department and advocates for prisoners. But now, with the Nov. 1 deadline for Congress to stop the change looming with no sign of action, the hard work of figuring out which prisoners are eligible is getting underway. Much of the job will fall on probation officers, judges and public defenders — federal employees of the judiciary — taxing the resources of agencies left reeling by last year's sequester and still dealing with tight budgets. "This process is more work for us," said James Wyda, the...

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