To reduce the growing prison population and escalating prison costs, the U.S Bureau of Prisons says it is now revising its “compassionate release” rules so more ailing and aging inmates can be freed.
A report from the Justice Department’s inspector general says the revised rules will expand the compassionate release program by making inmates with a life expectancy of up to 18 months eligible for consideration (versus the current 12 months).
The revised rules also will explain what level of functioning is “extraordinary and compelling” enough for inmates to be considered for release.
The OIG report notes that the Justice Department’s FY 2013 budget request identified $3.2 million in savings to be achieved by expanding the BOP’s compassionate release program.
In the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, Congress authorized the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to ask a federal judge to reduce an inmate’s sentence for “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances.