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Compassionate release under the First Step Act (FSA) is something many people are interested in, especially right now. The FSA is a law that affects Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmates and their families. This law:

  • gives judges greater latitude in imposing mandatory minimum sentences,
  • allows inmates to earn increased good conduct time,
  • increases BOP recidivism reduction programming to address inmate’s needs,
  • offers earned time credits for completion of recidivism reduction programs and/or productive activities, and
  • expands opportunities for inmate placement into residential reentry centers or home confinement

 Changes to Reduction of Sentence

Under the FSA, inmates can file a motion for Reduction of Sentence (RIS). Also known as compassionate release, this motion is filed directly with the court. It must be done 30 days after making a request to the BOP, or after exhausting their administrative remedies.

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Offenders with Terminal Illness

An offender that is terminally ill can apply for compassionate release. Also, the individual may be eligible to apply to the Second Chance Home Confinement Pilot program. This would place the person on home detention until the expiration of their prison term.

How to Apply

If an individual meets the eligibility criteria, he/she may apply for compassionate release consideration. This is done by making a request with their Unit Team. This request is then reviewed by the Warden. However, it is the BOP Director who will ultimately determine whether the request should be approved.

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Also, under the FSA inmates can now file a motion for compassionate release directly with the sentencing court 30 days after making a request to the BOP, or after administrative remedies have been exhausted. You can find a full list of eligibility requirements, for medical and non-medical circumstances here.

Coronavirus Compassionate Release

We are currently representing clients seeking early release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons due to the Covid-19 under the CARES Act and First Step Act through compassionate release. If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested please contact King Campbell and Poretz at (703) 468-8557.

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