November 30, 2012

The Answer is No

Too Little Compassionate Release in US Federal Prisons

A joint report by Human Rights Watch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums

Summary
Recommendations
To the Bureau of Prisons
To the Department of Justice
To Congress
Methodology
I. Background
Compassionate Release
A Narrow Interpretation of Compassionate Release
The United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines
II. Compassionate Release in Practice
Compassionate Release Procedures
Compassionate Release: The Numbers
III. Federal Policies on Compassionate Release
Medical Conditions
Non-Medical Grounds for Compassionate Release
Foreseeability
IV. Public Safety and Compassionate Release
Calculating Public Safety
Retribution, Sufficiency of Punishment, Nature of the Crime, Victims
Fear of Bad Publicity
V. Administrative Remedy
A Fair Process?
VI. The Lack of Judicial Review
Seeking Direct Release
Review of the Failure to Act
Challenging the Rules
New Challenges
VII. Human Rights and Compassionate Release
Acknowledgments
Appendix