Inmate Trust Fund Accounts – Template and Instructions for FAMM Members to Comment on the Proposed Rule - FAMM

Inmate Trust Fund Accounts – Template and Instructions for FAMM Members to Comment on the Proposed Rule

Go straight to instructions and template to submit comments to the BOP

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is proposing changes to the operation of inmate trust fund accounts. The BOP came under political pressure to examine these accounts after news spread that the accounts were shielding a few high-profile individuals (like R. Kelly and Larry Nassar) from paying restitution, child support, and other court-ordered financial obligations.

Although the BOP is right to address the issue of inmate trust fund accounts, we believe that what the BOP has proposed is too broad. It punishes everyone for the sake of a few bad actors. The new rule would automatically apply 75% of money received from family members or other outside sources towards restitution, court costs, child support, or other obligations. That means if your loved one has court-ordered financial obligations that have not been met, and you send them $100, only $25 will be deposited in their account.

Although the program is “voluntary,” Earned Time Credits are contingent on participation. Many people in prison are working hard to earn enough credits to go home early. It is unfair to make them choose between that and having sufficient funds to buy hygiene products, sweatpants, or stamps.

Fortunately, the rule that the BOP proposed is just a proposal. There is a 60-day comment period, open through March 13, during which individuals and organizations are invited to respond to BOP’s proposed rule. FAMM has drafted a template for you, which you can use to write to BOP and share how this rule would impact your loved ones. We have also included instructions on how to submit your comment.

Instructions for Submitting a story to the BOP:

  1. Download the form provided by FAMM and fill the form out: Word | PDF
    • Be sure to include details on your story that you are comfortable sharing publicly. Comments are public, so anyone can view your response.
    • The best approach is to share your story and how this proposed rule would impact you/your loved ones.
    • Save your final form on your computer so that you can upload it.
  2. Uploading your comment online:
    • Visit https://www.regulations.gov/document/BOP-2023-0001-0001
    • Click on the blue box in the upper left hand corner that reads, “Comment”
    • In the designated comment box, write, “See Attachment 1.”
    • Where it says “attach files” please upload your FAMM formatted comment (note: upload only your letter, not these instructions).
    • Upload your comment by March 13
  3. Mailing your comment in
    • Type or handwrite your story in the form provided by FAMM
    • Print your completed form
    • Mail your form to: Legislative & Correctional Issues Branch, Office of the General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW, Washington, DC 20534
    • Forms need to be received by March 13, so make sure if you mail them, you budget your time accordingly

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