U.S. Senators Seek More ‘Compassionate’ Releases

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A bipartisan group of senators are calling on federal prison officials to follow through on recommendations to expand the use of compassionate release of inmates, The Hill reports. The senators asked acting Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Thomas Kane and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to take a serious look at the program that allows federally incarcerated people to appeal for early release if they present certain “extraordinary and compelling” reasons.

The lawmakers, who include Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA.), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Cory Booker (D-NJ.), pointed to a Justice Department inspector general’s 2013 recommendation to deal with the increasingly large number of aging inmates with serious medical conditions. None of the 203 elderly inmates who applied under medical reasons in the 13 months after the report were approved. Last year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission expanded the criteria for age and family circumstances that make an inmate eligible for compassionate release and encouraged the BOP to file a motion for release if an inmate meets the new policy.

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