In an unprecedented move spurred by prison sentencing reform efforts, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it will release about 6,000 prison inmates early. The action would make it the largest-ever mass release of federal prisoners who received harsh sentences during the U.S. war on drugs in recent decades.

Inmates will be released from federal prisons across the country between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, the Washington Post reported. Most of them will go to halfway houses or be confined to their homes before being put on supervised release.

The early release comes after the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent agency that sets sentencing policies, reduced future punishments for drug offenders last year and made the change retroactive. The action is separate from a decision by President Barack Obama to grant clemency to 89 nonviolent drug offenders earlier this year.