New (November 2023): Tell Congress to Keep Them Home!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, giving the Bureau of Prisons the authority to place people on home confinement for an expanded period of time. There was some discussion about whether or not people released on CARES Act home confinement would need to return to BOP facilities when the COVID emergency period. Eventually, the Department of Justice issued a rule confirming that the BOP had the discretion let people remain on home confinement until the end of their sentence. Unfortunately, there is an effort underway in the Senate to disapprove of the DOJ’s rule and send these people back into prison.
The CARES Act home confinement policy has been one of the most successful sentencing reforms of all time. Over 13,000 people were given extended time on home confinement. To date, less than 0.5% of people on CARES Act home confinement have been returned to prison for a new criminal offense. To put this in perspective, the general recidivism rate for the Bureau of Prisons is 43%.
Just as we did in 2021, it is time to let Congress know they have to #KeepThemHome! People who have successfully reentered their communities and shown they can safely remain on home confinement should not be forced to go back to prison. COVID-19 may not be as big of a threat as it once was, but overcrowded prisons remain a challenge for both incarcerated individuals and correctional staff. People on home confinement must be allowed to remain on home confinement and continue to build on their successful reentry.
Need assistance? Check out our Federal Pro Se Compassionate Release Toolkit.
CARES Act Home Confinement & the OLC Memo
At this moment, thousands of people safely completing their sentences at home are living in fear that they’ll be sent back to federal prison through no fault of their own. A memo issued in the final days of the Trump administration threatens to send around 4,500 people on home confinement back to federal prison after the pandemic ends. This memo, from the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), is incorrect. Moreover, none of these people were told that they might be sent back and most made plans for a future with their families at home. If the Biden administration doesn’t act to fix this, these families will be torn apart.
FAMM launched the Keep Them Home campaign in order to urge the administration to fix this mess. Right now, we need to bring attention to this issue and have as many people as possible tell the administration that this needs immediate action.
The Biden administration should grant clemency to the thousands of people currently at home with their families under CARES Act home confinement.
Thousands of people on home confinement will be forced to go back to federal prison unless President Biden acts now. Urge the Biden administration to grant clemency to people on CARES Act home confinement and #KeepThemHome!
Take Action: Join us in urging the Biden administration to grant clemency to the 4,500 people currently at home with their families who are at risk of being sent back to prison!
- Contact the Biden administration directly. Instructions can be found in our social toolkit: bit.ly/KeepThemHomeToolkit
- Raise awareness of this issue by posting about it online. Download FAMM’s social media toolkit for posts and graphics to use: bit.ly/KeepThemHomeToolkit
- Text HOME to 40419 to join the campaign to #KeepThemHome.
- Add your name to FAMM’s Keep Them Home campaign and urge the Biden administration to rescind the memo and ensure that families stay together.
Hear from Affected Families
Kendrick Fulton, Miranda McLaurin and Robert Edwards—three returning citizens released on home confinement—share how they’re affected by the Trump Department of Justice’s memo from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which incorrectly states that people released to home confinement under the CARES Act must return to prison after the pandemic.
- Read FAMM and CAN-DO’s letter to the Bureau of Prisons in opposition to sending people on CARES Act home confinement back to prison for technical violations
- Read the letter FAMM sent with 25 other organizations to the administration
- Read the letter Senators Dubin and Booker sent to the Attorney General
- Read the letter that bipartisan members of the U.S. House to President Biden
- Read about the issue in the Washington Post
- Read about the issue in Reuters
- Read the OLC memo itself