(CNN)The biggest federal inmate release on record will take place this weekend.
About 6,600 inmates will be released, with 16,500 expected to get out the first year. More than 40,000 federal felons could be released early over the next several years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission said.
The sentencing commission decided a year ago to lower maximum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders and to make the change retroactive, with the inmate releases effective November 1, 2015. Sentences were reduced an average of 18%, the commission said.