Bill Status: The bill was introduced on February 28, 2018, in the U.S. Senate by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT). THE BILL IS NOT A LAW. To become a law, the bill must be approved by the Judiciary committees, passed by both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and signed into law by the President. Each year, many bills are introduced, but few become law. We do not know if or when this bill will become law.
Who it Helps: People sentenced in federal (not state) courts only.
Summary: FAMM supports the GRACE Act. If passed, the GRACE Act would create greater accountability and transparency in the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) use of compassionate release for federal prisoners who are elderly, ill, dying, or facing other “extraordinary and compelling circumstances.” For years, the BOP has regularly denied compassionate release to hundreds of federal prisoners, while more than 80 prisoners have died in the last four years while waiting the 4 to 6 months it takes for the BOP to review their requests. Families and prisoners alike often are not aware that compassionate release exists, and prisoners have no access to courts to appeal a BOP denial of their requests for compassionate release. Among other things, the bill, if passed, would
BOP Data on Use of Compassionate Release (Jan. 16, 2018)