In a new memorandum issued late in December, the DOJ has reversed its prior position regarding what happens to federal inmates on home confinement when the pandemic ends. As recently as August of this year, the DOJ’s position was that all inmates on home confinement under the CARES Act would have to go back into custody when the emergency period under the CARES Act expires.
Under the DOJ’s latest guidance, the BOP has discretion to keep inmates on home confinement even after the emergency period ends. Of course, the BOP also retains the discretion to send them back, en masse or individually. The memo only refers to the scope of the BOP’s power. For now, inmates will only be revoked from home confinement “where penologically justified.”
The DOJ’s position was criticized in a letter to the Biden administration by a diverse group of organizations, including Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), Faith and Freedom Coalition, and Amnesty International. Critics include Senator Tom Cotton, who opposes the change.
Click here to read the DOJ’s latest memo.