Police Chief talks about Attorney General's proposed shift on drug crimes

PARIS, TX -- Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for a major change in the war on drugs.

Eric Holder's new approach will allow judges to decide the sentence length of non-violent offenders who have no ties to large scale organizations instead of handing down mandatory minimum sentences.

"We need to insure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and to rehabilitate, but not merely to warehouse and to forget." said Holder.

Holder says almost half the inmates in prisons are serving time for drug related crimes, helping cause prisons to be 40-percent above capacity.

Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley says getting softer on drugs charges could lead to more users.

"People that were going to avoid them, because there is some penalties involved may go ahead and use them and once they start using, its more often than not a downward spiral." said Hundley.

With the federal changes Hundley believes that there will be no immediately effect on state laws, but wouldn't be surprised of future changes.

"As federal sentencing changes or we say these are not that important of a crime and we don't need people in jail that long, those are the first steps of trying to get something legalized." said Hundley.

Hundley and Holder agree that judges should be allowed to take each drug charge separately and not require minimum sentences.

"The one poor guy that gets caught with weed and has no other issues, that's were I think the judge needs to be the judge." said Hundley.

But he says for those that are involved in the drug trade and have a criminal history should be locked up to keep society safe.

"I think that anybody that thinks that giving them less time in the federal system or in any system is going to help this problem, I think it's only going to make it worse."

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