Saturday, February 20, 2016

Federal compassionate release of ailing inmates 'a failure'

     The compassionate release system for federal prisons is "broken," a series of witnesses told the U.S. Sentencing Commission during a recent public hearing, according to Capitol News Service.
     But while the panels of witnesses generally agreed the program is in need of a fix, they proposed starkly different solutions and laid the blame at the feet of a number of different organizations and agencies.
     The compassionate release program is meant to release elderly inmates, those with terminal illnesses and others who meet certain conditions, though as the witnesses at Wednesday's hearing said, the program does not necessarily cover all of the inmates in federal prison it is meant to.
     The public hearing was meant to evaluate a proposed set of changes to the compassionate release program, including lowering the age at which an inmate can be considered for release, reducing the amount of their prison term they must serve before qualifying for release, and adding more circumstances that would allow an inmate to go free early.
     The current program allows the director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to motion for the early release of inmates deemed not a danger to their communities who are least 70 years old and have served at least 30 years of their sentence, or those who have "extraordinary and compelling reasons."
     Under the current rule "extraordinary and compelling reasons" are limited to debilitating or terminal physical or mental illnesses or a death in the inmate's family that would leave a minor without care.
     The proposed amendment to the program expands these circumstances further and would allow the BOP director to motion for the release of a prisoner who is 65 or older and has served at least 10 years or 75 percent of their sentence, regardless of their medical condition.

To read more CLICK HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment