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Support builds in DC for reform to federal prison sentencing




IONE, CA - AUGUST 28:  Inmates at the Mule Creek State Prison interact in a gymnasium that was modified to house prisoners August 28, 2007 in Ione, California. California has put in place a number of reforms to reduce prison population. Now, support is building at the federal level for reform to sentencing laws. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
IONE, CA - AUGUST 28: Inmates at the Mule Creek State Prison interact in a gymnasium that was modified to house prisoners August 28, 2007 in Ione, California. California has put in place a number of reforms to reduce prison population. Now, support is building at the federal level for reform to sentencing laws. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, but efforts to reduce the prison population have long been locked in political debate.

Now, that may be changing, according to recent statements from top Republican leaders.

Both Republicans and Democrats are showing a willingness to alter tough sentencing laws that have been in place for decades.

Earlier this month, President Obama put out a call to reform the criminal justice system and now Republican House Speaker John Boehner has joined him.

For more, we're joined by Stephen Raphael, professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley and an expert in prison sentencing.