Iowa Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley, and Senate Democratic Whip, Dick Durbin, are leading the charge in asking the Trump Administration to take the necessary steps in protecting the health and well-being of federal prison staff and inmates in federal custody during the coronavirus pandemic. The two penned a bipartisan letter to Attorney General, William Barr, and Federal Bureau of Prisons Director, Michael Carvajal, asking for the release or transfer to home confinement of the most vulnerable inmates as is permitted under the First Step Act (FSA). They are seeking the review and expediting of current cases where the Elderly Home Detention Pilot Program would allow for an early transfer, where appropriate, of terminally ill and eligible elderly inmates. They are also asking for a more broad interpretation for compassionate release and that it now include vulnerability to Covid-19. Under new guidelines for compassionate release, they are seeking, to the extent it is practical, the transfer of lower-risk inmates to home confinement for the maximum amount of time permitted under the law, which is the shorter of 10 percent of the term of imprisonment or six months.
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