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February 2, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 78 BOP facilities and 14 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 109 (up from 92) Currently positive-testing staff: 116 (down from 126) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 46,435 (down from 46,488) Recovered staff: 15,033 (up from 15,018)


Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Houston FDC: 12 (up from 9)

Butner Medium I FCI: 6 (unchanged)

Ashland FCI: 5 (unchanged)


Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff:

Three Rivers FCI: 7 (unchanged)

Butner Medium 1 FCI: 6 (unchanged)

Carswell FMC: 5


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 145,801 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,906 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,645 (up from 128,643) Positive tests: 55,293 (up from 55,291)


Total vaccine doses administered: 346,971 (up from 346,846)


News Note: CARES ACT home placement confinement to end June 10...


Lisa-Legalinfo.com, in a post titled "CARES ACT HOME PLACEMENT TO END JUNE 10 JUST AS NEW BOP MEMO SURFACES," gives the latest news on the end of the CARES ACT home placement program that will sunset with the end of the national emergency declared in light of COVID, explaining:

CARES Act To Expire: President Joe Biden informed Congress yesterday that he will end the twin national emergencies declared by President Donald Trump 35 months ago.


The end of the national emergency and the separate public health emergency will restructure federal coronavirus response, treating COVID-19 as an endemic threat to public health that can be managed through agencies’ normal authorities.


Biden’s announcement came in a statement opposing a House of Representatives resolution to be voted on later this week (H.J.Res. 7) to bring the national emergency to an end. Congress has the power to end a National Emergencies Act emergency declaration at any time by joint resolution under 50 USC § 1622(a)(1).


A similar resolution sailed through the Senate last November, suggesting that this one could have done the same, embarrassing the Administration. Biden’s announcement just about assures that the Congressional push against the national emergency will fizzle.


Among the myriad of federal responses mandated by the bloated Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES“) Act, a $2.2 trillion response to COVID-19 that runs some 324 pages in Volume 134 of the United States Statutes, the Bureau of Prisons was given authority to “lengthen the maximum amount of time for which the Director is authorized to place a prisoner in home confinement under the first sentence of section 3624(c)(2) of title 18, United States Code, as the Director determines appropriate.” Practically speaking, this gave the BOP the right to place prisoners on home confinement indefinitely, despite the old 18 USC 3624(c)(2) limitation of 10% of the sentence up to a maximum of six months.


The BOP has placed 52,815 inmates, almost of third of its normal population, on home confinement since CARES passed. The agency has always pumped up the number by including people who would have been sent to home confinement at the conclusion of their sentence regardless of the CARES Act. Nevertheless, there are over 5,600 CARES Act home confines right now.

The CARES Act authority continues during what § 12003(a)(2) calls the “covered emergency period.” This period ends “on the date that is 30 days after the date on which the national emergency declaration terminates.” In other words, with the national emergency ending on May 11, the “covered emergency period” ends on Saturday, June 10th.


So will the BOP continue CARES Act placement until then? It makes economic sense for an agency struggling with an employee shortage, especially where inmates with low-security risk and high maintenance costs (read “costly medical care”), to unload as many prisoners as it can. The BOP’s inmate load has increased since hitting a low in 2020, even before having to absorb some 14,000 federal prisoners from private prisons after Biden ended contracting with private prison operators in his first days as president.


What will become of the 5,600 on home confinement now? The Administration has taken the position that those on CARES Act home confinement will not necessarily be ordered to return to prison. The BOP, in its typical ham-handed way, issued a memorandum in December 2021 saying it intended to develop a plan to evaluate “which offenders should be returned to secure custody.” It clarified that to say it would propose rules governing the factors to be evaluated in calling people back to prison, but the proposed rules have not yet been announced.


The Dept of Justice did not help matters. Last June, DOJ issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking public comment on a rule that delegated authority to the BOP to decide who would return and who would not. Those rules have not yet been finalized, but you can bet that they will be soon.


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) Today, the BOP announced no new COVID-related deaths, leaving the total number of inmate COVID-related deaths at 312. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7

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