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FAMM praises House for updated COVID-19 relief bill
WASHINGTON — FAMM president Kevin Ring released the following statement after Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives released their $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which includes several provisions designed to protect people in prisons.
“We are grateful that the House bill includes provisions to help vulnerable people in prisons and jails across America,” Ring said. “The bill would expand compassionate release and provide funding to state and local governments who are using increased releases to stop the spread of the virus. The Senate and White House should support these common sense provisions.”
The relief bill would reduce the eligibility requirements for elderly home detention from 60 years of age to 50, and from two thirds of sentence served to one half. The bill would also temporarily expand the federal compassionate release process by removing bureaucratic wait times, providing counsel to indigent applicants, and creating a presumption of sentence reduction for some particularly vulnerable groups. Other provisions include increasing releases for people particularly at risk, limiting pre-trial jail time, and providing money for testing and tracing.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal level and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.