Blog Article 

 Proposed Rule on Home Confinement 

Michael Santos

Michael Santos

Today I am providing you with a sample to show how Prison Professors continues to advocate to improve outcomes for all justice-impacted people. On June 14, The Attorney General proposed a rule that concerns all people in federal prison. The proposed rule will broaden the BOP’s discretion on how to use home confinement. It specifically refers to the CARES Act, but it offers many promising suggestions. People can submit comments on the Proposed Rule until July 21, 2022.

Separately, I will send a summary of the Proposed Rule.

Below, I show how we’re writing to support the Proposed Rule. I recommend that others do the same, by writing comments to the following address:

  • The Rules Unit
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Bureau of Prisons
  • 320 First Street NW
  • Washington, DC 20534

Subject:

  • BOP Docket Number 1179;
  • AG Order No. 5439-2022
  • RIN 1120-AB79
  • Home Confinement Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
  • Agency: Office of the attorney General, Department of Justice
  • Action: Proposed Rule
  • Filed June 17, 20222 at 8:45 am in Federal Register Docket 2022-13217

Comment:

The Prison Professors Charitable Corporation expresses strong support for the proposed Rule that affirms that the Director has the authority to allow prisoners placed on home confinement under the CARES Act to remain in home confinement after the expiration of the covered emergency period. This Proposed Rule would allow “the Bureau to make an individualized determination whether home confinement is appropriate for each inmate considered….”

According to the Bureau, as of March 4, 2022, out of 9,500 people placed in home confinement under the CARES Act, only 357 returned to custody for violating the conditions of home confinement. Such reporting suggests that 9,147, or 96 percent of the people released to home confinement, did not return to custody. Only eight people returned to custody for new criminal conduct.

Such numbers show that the Bureau of Prisons can manage people successfully in home confinement. Indeed, people in home confinement have a greater likelihood of reconciling with society and preparing for a law-abiding, contributing life upon release than people in secure prisons.

By expanding the Director’s discretion to use Home Confinement as a resource, the Bureau of Prisons will accomplish many goals that serve the interests of taxpayers:

  • The proposed Rule will incentivize people in prison to engage in productive activities.
  • The proposed Rule will give people in prison reasons to avoid disruptive activities.
  • The proposed Rule will encourage people in prison to document their efforts to reconcile with society and prepare for law-abiding lives upon release.
  • The proposed Rule will offer hope that people in prison can build upon, encouraging them to demonstrate why they’re worthy candidates for more extended periods of home confinement.
  • The proposed Rule will lower costs for the Bureau of Prisons.
  • The proposed Rule will improve morale among Bureau of Prisons staff.
  • The Proposed Rule will allow the Bureau of Prisons to collect more data that shows why the agency can increase public safety by transitioning people to home confinement based on individual assessments.

For the reasons cited above, the Prison Professors Charitable Corporation strongly supports the proposed Rule, which states:

(2) After the expiration of the “covered emergency period” as defined by the CARES Act, permitting any prisoner placed in home confinement under the CARES Act who is not yet otherwise eligible for home confinement under separate statutory authority to remain in home confinement under the CARES Act for the remainder of her sentence, as the Director determines appropriate.

Attorney General Merrick Garland

This proposed Rule justifies why the BOP should not return law-abiding individuals to custody.

The background information in the proposed Rule confirms that the BOP has broad discretion on when to send a person to home confinement. Those guidelines of requiring people to serve 50% of their sentence for people with longer than 18 months or requiring people to serve 25% if they have 18 months or less are only guidelines.

With the First Step Act, the Bureau of Prisons has the discretion to send people to home confinement when the individual can show that home confinement would serve the best interest of justice. Statistics suggest that recidivism rates will drop if the Bureau of Prisons incentivizes people to build post-conviction records that will allow them to transition to home confinement sooner.

For these reasons, the Prison Professors Charitable Corporation strongly supports this proposed Rule.

Michael Santos,
Founder, Prison Professors Charitable Corporation
www.PrisonProfessors.com

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