Friday, December 15, 2023

Biden Threatens to Veto Bill That Would Send 3,000 Criminals Back to Prison; Biden Threatens To Block GOP Plan To Send 3,000 People Back to Federal Prison

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File
Biden Threatens to Veto Bill That Would Send 3,000 Criminals Back to Prison:
When the pandemic was at its height, the Trump administration allowed around 13,000 non-violent federal prisoners to serve their sentence from home, largely because COVID-19 deaths spiked in prisons as a result of the close quarters and generally unhealthy condition of many prisoners.
Before Trump left office, his Justice Department released a memo demanding that the inmates be returned to serve the rest of their sentences in prison once the pandemic emergency was over.
It didn't work out that way. The Biden Justice Department issued an order that allowed the prisoners to serve the rest of their sentences in home confinement.
Admittedly, most of the prisoners were convicted of non-violent drug offenses. "It would be a terrible policy to return these people to prison," Attorney General Merrick Garland said, "after they have shown that they are able to live in home confinement without violations."
But Senate Joint Resolution 47, introduced by Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn and co-sponsored by 28 Republicans, disagreed. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton wrote that the proposed veto by Biden "betrays victims and law-enforcement agencies that trusted the federal government to keep convicted criminals away from the neighborhoods that the offenders once terrorized." --->READ MORE HERE
CREDIT: Chris Kleponis 
Biden Threatens To Block GOP Plan To Send 3,000 People Back to Federal Prison:
The White House has threatened to veto a Republican Senate resolution that would result in roughly 3,000 federal offenders who were released to home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic being sent back to prison.
In a statement of administration policy released Wednesday, the Biden administration said it opposes Senate Joint Resolution 47, introduced by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R–Tenn.) in late October. As Reason previously reported, the resolution, which criminal justice advocates say could reach the Senate floor for a vote as early as this week, would overturn a Justice Department rule allowing some federal offenders to remain under house arrest after the end of the government's COVID-19 emergency declaration.
The White House cited the extraordinarily low recidivism rate among those released to home confinement and the reduced cost to taxpayers compared to incarceration.
"Of the over 13,000 people released to home confinement under the CARES Act, less than one percent have committed a new offense—mostly for nonviolent, low-level offenses—and all were returned to prison as a result," the statement says. "Moreover, since home confinement is less than half the cost of housing someone in prison, this program has saved taxpayers millions of dollars and eased the burden on BOP staff so they can focus on the higher risk and higher need people in Federal prison."
The resolution is the latest in a battle among the Biden administration, criminal justice advocacy groups, and Republicans over the continuation of the pandemic-era policy.
In the final days of the Trump administration, the Justice Department released a memo finding that once the federal government ended its COVID-19 emergency declaration, all former inmates with remaining sentences would have to report back to prison. --->READ MORE HERE
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