Post Date: December 12, 2017
FAMM Testimony on BOP Halfway House Closures
and Limited Use of Compassionate Release
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring submitted testimony today to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform outlining the group’s concerns with the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) recent decision to close more than a dozen halfway houses and to reduce the services that remaining halfway houses must provide. A hearing will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. in U.S. House Rayburn Building, Room 2154.
Ring’s testimony stresses the importance of the BOP’s role in reducing recidivism by providing prisoners with access to rehabilitation and reentry services – including during their stay in halfway houses. For many prisoners, halfway houses provide the resources and support needed to reintegrate into society. The recent halfway house closures, and other related changes, have led to prisoners being released as much as six months later than expected, and an overall reduction in halfway house time.
Ring’s testimony also raised concerns about the BOP’s limited use of its authority to grant compassionate release to dying, sick, and elderly prisoners. Ring’s testimony echoes the calls heard last week during the announcement of a new Campaign for Compassionate Release. More than 25 criminal justice reform, human rights, and health policy organizations from across the political spectrum sent a letter to BOP urging greater use of compassionate release.
Ring applauded the committee, especially chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), for calling the hearing and conducting long overdue oversight of the Bureau of Prisons and its programs.
For those unable to attend the hearing it will be livestreamed here.
FAMM is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization fighting for smart sentencing and prison policies that protect public safety.
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