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U.S. Justice Dept Says Inmates Sent Home Due to Covid-19 Will Not Be Returned to Prison

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday announced it would not force federal inmates who were sent home due to the coronavirus pandemic to return to prison once the emergency is lifted.
U.S. Justice Dept says inmates sent home due to COVID-19 will not be returned to prison
Pictured is U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., December 15, 2021. Leigh Vogel/Pool via REUTERS/

From: Reuters

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday announced it would not force federal inmates who were sent home due to the coronavirus pandemic to return to prison once the emergency is lifted.

The decision represents a major reversal for the department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which previously had issued an opinion that said the Bureau of Prisons had no legal authority to keep inmates at home once the pandemic emergency had subsided.

It also marks a victory for criminal justice advocacy groups who have fiercely lobbied the department and the White House to take steps to ensure that law-abiding, low-level inmates would not be forced back into prison.

“Thousands of people on home confinement have reconnected with their families, have found gainful employment, and have followed the rules,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

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