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FAMM Praises National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine consensus study report on decarcerating correctional facilities during COVID-19
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring issued the following statement praising the release of the National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine consensus study report on decarcerating correctional facilities during COVID-19:
Every week there is a new story about prisons being a hotbed for COVID-19. The NASEM report says what we at FAMM have been saying all along: the states should expand their compassionate release programs and allow people who are sick, dying, elderly or otherwise vulnerable to go home. While the federal system allows some people to find relief through a robust and compassionate release mechanism, the states lag behind, with no release mechanisms that help the most vulnerable. This report is a must read for anyone seeking answers on how states should be responding to COVID-19 in prisons.
Over the past 20 years, FAMM has been at the forefront of compassionate release reform efforts in the states. FAMM’s comprehensive, state-by-state report on the early-release programs available to prisoners, “Everywhere and Nowhere: Compassionate Release in the States,” shines a light on the inhumanity of keeping sick, dying, and elderly prisoners behind bars and makes a series of recommendations for reform:
- Expand and improve compassionate release policies in all states.
- Ensure that eligibility criteria is fair and just.
- Establish deadlines to keep applications moving.
- Publicize compassionate release programs and policies.
- Provide assistance with post-release planning.
- Require data collection and reporting.
The analysis also reveals a troubling number of barriers faced by prisoners and their families when applying for early release. The report is accompanied by a state-by-state comparison chart, 21 recommendations for policymakers and 51 individual state memos.
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.