Federal Inmates Released From Prison on Covid-19 Related Home Confinement

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates Federal inmate detention facilities in the United States.  Federal detainees are kept in 127 prisons in 37 States.  The BOP operates 68 facilities that are called “satellite prison camps”, and there are some privately owned and operated detainee facilities that provide housing for Federal detainees, they number 12.  The BOP houses all those sentenced to prison upon conviction of a federal crime.  Federal detention centers house inmates based on several factors such as the serious nature of the crime, crimes involving property, those in which force or violence is an element of the crime, and other factors such as a persons’ recidivism rate, prior crimes, criminal history, age, health, location of their family and support system.   The BOP designates each facility as a Minimum, Medium, Low or High security facility. The number of inmates varies but as a working number you can consider the total detainee population as 154.000 at any time.

Keep in mind that every State has its own court system and prison system which operate independent of one another and independent of the United States Federal Court system.

The number of federal inmates (detainees) varies from day to day.  Every day federal courts convict and sentence inmates (detainees).  Every day men and women enter and leave the federal prison system run by the Bureau of Prisons.  The BOP is an agency supervised and run by the Attorney General of the United States.

The number of inmates who have died from Covid-19 and Covid-19 related causes is reported by the BOP as 240 dead as of mid-March 2020.  There are other sources that place the number much higher, as high as several thousand.   Because of the political influences pressed upon the Attorney General of the United States and the BOP there is a general consensus among federal criminal attorneys, both private and in the public sector (Federal Public Defenders) that the true extent of illnesses, deaths and related deaths on federal detainees will never be known.  Be that as it may, when men and women live in close quarters (such as a prison) and are exposed to populations that are exposed at higher levels than the general public to the Covid-19 pandemic there will, and is, a high rate of infection, disease related harm, serious illness and death.

During the early stages of the Covid-19 Pandemic several federal criminal defense attorneys undertook to force the Bureau of prisons to release inmates who were at high risk of infection and death due to the Pandemic.  Some very public persons such as President Trump’s former attorney Mr. Michael Cohen were released by filing Compassionate Release Petitions and other paths crated by the CARES Act and other laws.  Attorney Ralph Behr was one of many members of the federal criminal defense bar who successfully represented and succeeded in releasing inmates from federal detention during the pandemic.  Among the many books written and released during the pandemic Mr. Behr’s books (three) were published and widely used by other criminal defense lawyers as models for pleadings, petitions and  motions filed under the Compassionate Release program.

For more information on obtaining relief such as reassignment from a federal prison or detention center to home confinement, furlough or early termination of sentencing or federal probation contact an experience federal criminal lawyer near you.  One of many places to look for a qualified lawyer is the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in Florida the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, or any of the several national associations where you can find practitioners who can help with early release and or release from probation for those held in federal custody.

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