• Prisoners and detainees in many local, state and federal facilities, including those run by private contractors, confront conditions that are abusive, degrading and dangerous. Soaring prison populations due to harsh sentencing laws—which legislators have been reluctant to change—and immigrant detention policies coupled with tight budgets have left governments unwilling to make the investments in staff and resources necessary to ensure safe and humane conditions of confinement. Such failures violate the human rights of all persons deprived of their liberty to be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and to be free from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons blocks all but a few federal prisoners from compassionate release, Human Rights Watch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) said in a report released today. The 128-page report is the first comprehensive examination of how compassionate release in the federal system works.

Featured Content


  • Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons
  • Florida’s Prosecution of Children as Adults under its "Direct File" Statute
  • Too Little Compassionate Release in US Federal Prisons

Prison and Detention Conditions