In a memo sent out Friday to federal prosecutors, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced major changes across the Criminal Justice system. In the two page memo released publicly on Friday, Sessions orders prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offence” clearly reversing the Obama administration's softer policies on low-level drug crimes. The previous policy asked prosecutors to not trigger minimum jail sentences by not reporting the amount of drugs in a case for non-violent criminals who didn't sell to children or have ties with gangs or drug cartels.

Holder says new policy is dumb on crime

Jeff Sessions further outlines in the memo a policy of tougher enforcement against non-violent crime which some critics say targets the impoverished minority population. The new policy reverses the goals of the previous administration's attorney general Eric Holder "smart on crime" initiative aimed to reduce the convictions and length of jail times for those who had committed lower-level drug crimes. Sessions states in the memo that the change "affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency."

In a public statement, former attorney general Eric Holder said that "the new policy isn't tough on crime. It is dumb on crime." He goes on to say that Sessions is using a cookie-cutter approach that has been proven in the past to unfairly give non-violent offenders longer sentences that only increase the number of incarcerations without increasing public safety in the long term.

Holder calls on Congress to reverse the changes by enacting the criminal reform measures brought on last year with the support of Republicans and Democrats.

In his statement on Friday, Holder said, "These reversals will be both substantively and financially ruinous, setting the Department back on a track to again spending one third of its budget on incarcerating people, rather than preventing, detecting, or investigating crime."

Kilo of heroin not considered low-level

In remarks Sessions gave at the Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York City Award Presentation on Friday, he announced the changes for the Department of Justice's charging and sentencing policy, indicating that the changes will allow US attorneys to do their job to go after criminals and not be micromanaged by the White House and support President Trump's stance on keeping America safe.

He continued to say that the justice system will not look the other way for crimes that the Obama administration considered as low-level.

Sessions said in his remarks at the award presentation, "We are talking about a kilogram of heroin – that is 10,000 doses, five kilograms of cocaine and 1000 kilograms of marijuana. These are not low-level offenders. These are drug dealers. And you're going to prison."