A flood of new applications for clemency will flow to the White House when the Justice Department expands its criteria for applications, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.
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At the request of the White House, the department later this week will outline expanded criteria to consider when recommending applications for reduced jail sentences to the White House, which will likely result in “thousands of additional applications,” Holder said.

“This new and improved approach will make the criteria for clemency recommendation more expansive,” Holder said. “This will allow the Department of Justice and the president to consider requests from a larger field of eligible individuals.”

The White House has pushed to consider more clemency applications for people — many of whom are drug offenders — who do not pose a threat to safety, Holder said. The administration has also pushed Congress to address the issue with legislation.

In the meantime, the Justice Department will also assign “potentially dozens” of lawyers to review the new applications in preparation for the larger volume.

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