Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
FAMM Responds to CARES Act Home Confinement Provision
The criminal justice organization urges U.S. Attorney General William Barr to swiftly use his power to release eligible people to home confinement
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring sent a letter today urging U.S. Attorney William Barr to immediately use his authority to release eligible people to home confinement as soon as the CARES Act becomes law. The CARES Act, which was passed by the Senate last night and is expected to be approved by the House and signed by the president, permits the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to lengthen the maximum amount of time that a prisoner may be placed in home confinement, if the U.S. Attorney General finds that emergency conditions will materially affect the functioning of the BOP.
“In order to prevent unnecessary deaths and suffering, the BOP needs to get as many people out of prison as it safely can and get them to home confinement immediately,” Ring said. “Congress is giving the attorney general the authority to make that happen. We urge the attorney general to act the moment this bill is signed into law. Lives are at stake.”
Ring said the use of home confinement would also ease the burden on halfway houses, in which movement has been restricted, employment opportunities have been halted, and people are confined in tight quarters. As with people in prison, halfway house residents cannot comply with CDC guidance regarding social distancing and good hygiene.
Earlier this week, FAMM also urged the expedited use of compassionate release to ease the strain on prisons, and people who are most vulnerable. FAMM sent a letter to nearly 40,000 federal prisoners encouraging all federal prisoners who are most vulnerable to immediately apply for early release. FAMM is working with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs to assist those who apply.
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 in six states 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 nonpartisan, national advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice reforms to make our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM promotes change by raising the voices of families and individuals who are directly affected by counterproductive sentencing and prison policies.