Attorney General Eric Holder is endorsing a plan to reduce sentences for certain drug offenses, which he says could reduce the federal prison population by more than 6,500 inmates in five years.

Making a rare appearance Thursday before the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Holder plans to endorse the commission's proposed change.

According to prepared remarks provided by the Justice Department, the change would "make the federal criminal justice system both more effective and more efficient when battling crime and the conditions and behaviors that breed it."

Holder says penalties would still be tough for violent criminals while finding ways to reduce the costs of the federal prison system.

The move, which the sentencing commission might vote on in April, aligns with Holder's "Smart on Crime" initiative.

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