© 2024 WSKG

601 Gates Road
Vestal, NY 13850

217 N Aurora St
Ithaca, NY 14850

FCC Public Files:
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

WSKG thanks our sponsors...

Prisoners sent to home confinement because of the pandemic might remain free

FILE - Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a Tribal Nations Summit during Native American Heritage Month, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. The Justice Department is giving $139 million to police departments across the U.S. as part of a grant program that would bring on more than 1,000 new officers. The grant funding being announced Thursday comes through the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and will be awarded to 183 law enforcement agencies. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks on Nov. 15, 2021, in Washington. On Tuesday, the Justice Department issued a new legal opinion that could allow thousands of people released from prison to home confinement at the start of the pandemic to remain free.

The Justice Department has reversed course in a legal analysis that could allow thousands of people released from prison at the start of the pandemic to remain free once the coronavirus emergency ends.In a rare reconsideration, the department's Office of Legal Counsel issued a new legal opinion concluding the Bureau of Prisons "has discretion to permit prisoners in extended home confinement to remain there."Attorney General Merrick Garland asked the OLC to reconsider the issue after personally reviewing the law. The move comes after months of intense pressure from a coalition of advocates across the political spectrum, who had urged the DOJ and the White House to reconsider."Thousands of people on home confinement have reconnected with their families, have found gainful employment, and have followed the rules," Garland said in a written statement. "We will exercise our authority so that those who have made rehabilitative progress and complied with the conditions of home confinement, and who in the interests of justice should be given an opportunity to continue transitioning back to society, are not unnecessarily returned to prison."Earlier Tuesday, Garland met with a small group of people on home confinement to learn more about their experiences and challenges, the Justice Department said.Kevin Ring, who advocates for people in prison and their families, recently told NPR the issue was a "bellwether" for the Biden administration's criminal justice efforts."For somebody who isn't sure whether they can get a lease, start a family, start a relationship, begin college courses, get on with their life, it's incredibly callous to say, 'Oh, we haven't made a decision yet and we don't have to because there's a pandemic still going on,'" Ring added. Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.