The U.S. Attorney General launched a program last year called "Smart on Crime". It works to lower the prison rate for non-violent, low level offenders who aren't involved in organized crime. Federal prosecutors aren't taking on as many of these cases.
Here in the Western District of Virginia cases have dropped by about half.
FY 2005: 178 cases
FY 2013: 98 cases
FY 2005: 171 cases
FY 2013: 68 cases
"We're trying to preserve our scarce resources for the people who really are involved with large quantities of drugs, managing big organizations, involved in violence. Those are the folks that we really need to focus our time and attention on," said Timothy Heaphy, U.S. Attorney Western District of Virginia.
Heaphy says local prosecutors can still persue those smaller cases it's just not something they want to use federal resources on.
The Western District also has one person on staff to help with prevention and prisoner re-entry.