Today is Wednesday. Today if I hear one more person say something ignorant about everyone deserving prison..please get a heart and try working on compassion will be my retort.
Speaking of compassion, take a read. It will sober you.
“Dear Friends of The Marshall Project,
In the 1980s, Congress created a policy known as “compassionate release,” which lets some elderly and dying inmates leave prison early to spend their final months at home. The measure has bipartisan support in Washington not only for humanitarian reasons but as a way to save taxpayer money with little risk to public safety. But it’s almost never used.
For our investigation published today in partnership with The New York Times, we obtained new federal data showing that of the 5,400 applications the Bureau of Prisons has received since 2013, just 6 percent have been approved so far. And in the same period, 266 prisoners who requested compassionate release died behind bars. Our analysis reveals that it takes on average over six months to receive a final answer.
I wanted to find out what was happening in these cases. It wasn’t easy; most applicants’ names were redacted from the database. But the names of those who had died were public record. I was able to track down their family members and lawyers and ask for their full case files through FOIA. I also created my own database, using federal court records, to determine that half of those who died after applying were serving time for nonviolent drug or fraud crimes. I found other compassionate release cases, many still pending, through advocates, attorneys, Facebook groups for families of federal prisoners, and searching Change.org petitions.
I spoke with numerous families about their experiences fighting prison bureaucracy in hopes of having a little time with their loved ones at home. A son told me about saying goodbye to his unconscious 87-year-old father, who was guarded and shackled to his hospital bed. A sister spoke of seeing her brother, suffering from lupus and liver failure, deteriorate to the point that he could barely walk, then finding out he was denied for not being sick enough. And this fall, a mother called to tell me that her son, about whom we’d spoken at length, had died in prison from liver cancer the day before. He had been incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses, but the Bureau of Prisons had denied him compassionate release on the grounds that he was too dangerous to let out. These stories make us ask who prison is for and what purpose it serves.
I hope you’ll take the time to read about their experiences, and let us know your thoughts.
The Marshall Project · 156 West 56th Street · Suite 701 · New York, NY 10019 · USA
You can have the newsletter emailed to you that gives you the real insight into our poor excuse for a justice system and the prison industrial complex. Without knowledge we can’t change things.
Peace my friends. Compassion: we need it.