An official with the Department of Justice said the agency will no longer call people “felons” or “convicts” after they are released from prison because it is too hard on them emotionally.

Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason wrote a piece in The Washington Post Wednesday saying “many of the formerly incarcerated men, women, and young people I talk with say that no punishment is harsher than being permanently branded a ‘felon’ or ‘offender.’”

Mason said the decision is not to condone their behavior, but to use words to help them reenter society.

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