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500 leave prison on day 1 of crack sentence easing
More than 500 freed from prison on the first day prison terms for crack crimes are eased
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Federal Bureau of Prisons says more than 500 people were released from custody Tuesday as a result of new, lowered sentences for crack cocaine crimes.

Spokesman Chris Burke says the change freed 526 people from federal prisons nationwide on the first day it went into effect. Burke said Wednesday that officials were still receiving orders from judges directing the immediate release of prisoners based on new sentence guidelines.

Burke could not say how many inmates were released overall Tuesday, including releases scheduled for other reasons. But by comparison, a total of 211 inmates were released on the same day last year.

The change in sentencing guidelines for crack crimes is eventually estimated to benefit some 12,000 inmates, reducing sentences by an average of three years.

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