Legal Aid for Inmates’ Compassionate Release

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Thousands of sick, dying, and elderly federal prisoners who are eligible for early release will have access to free legal representation through a newly established Compassionate Release Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is a collaborative pro bono effort involving Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) It will match qualified prisoners with legal counsel if they need to pursue a case in court.

“People who can barely make it out of their beds in the morning should not have to go into court alone against the largest law firm in the nation,” said FAMM’s Kevin Ring, The clearinghouse is being assisted by the Washington, D.C., law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP through partner Steve Salky. “Sick and dying prisoners for years were unjustly denied release on compassionate release grounds by the Bureau of Prisons,” said Jonathan Smith of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. The effort was made possible by the passage of the First Step Act, which allows prisoners to appeal to a sentencing judge if their petitions for release are denied or unanswered.

One thought on “Legal Aid for Inmates’ Compassionate Release

  1. My daughter has completed a little over 8 years of her probation period. She has been to rehab, all the required classes (paying for them), paid $10,000.00 in fines. Reported every month to her probation officer. Had a machine installed in her car for 8 years (had to pay every month for that.) Was required to get a urine test quite frequently. She had a job at the nursing home making 8.00/hr. to pay for all of this. She rarely went anywhere except to work and back home. She lived with us (her parents) during this last year. We are 80 & 84 yr. old, and welcomed the help that she could give us when she was off. After being on her feet for 12hrs. she would come in and relax with a beer. Eat her supper, shower, then start over the next day. NEVER getting in her vehicle after the beer. It showed up in her urine and the called her in. Gave her choice of prison or SAFP. She naturally took SAFP. I realize that the drinking of a beer was against her probation rules. But due to the circumstances, and her record of compliance she should receive “time served”. She is 59 years old.. a Christian loving Mother and Daughter, that has really paid for her mistakes and then some. I just pray that this will do her some good, and bring her home to us.

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