(BOP) - In response to COVID-19, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has instituted a comprehensive management approach that includes screening, testing, appropriate treatment, prevention, education, and infection control measures.
The BOP has increased Home Confinement by over 40% since March and is continuing to aggressively screen all potential inmates for Home Confinement. On April 3, the Attorney General exercised emergency authority under the CARES Act, to further increase Home Confinement.
Given the surge in positive cases at select sites and in response to the Attorney General's directives, the BOP has begun immediately reviewing all inmates who have COVID-19 risk factors, as described by the CDC, starting with the inmates incarcerated at FCI Oakdale, FCI Danbury, FCI Elkton and similarly-situated facilities to determine which inmates are suitable for home confinement.
Inmates do not need to apply to be considered for home confinement. Case management staff are urgently reviewing all inmates to determine which ones meet the criteria established by the Attorney General on March 26, 2020 and April 3, 2020. The Department has also increased resources to review and make appropriate determinations as soon as possible.
While all inmates are being reviewed for suitability, any inmate who believes they are eligible may request to be referred to Home Confinement and provide a release plan to their Case Manager. The BOP may contact family members to gather needed information when making decisions concerning Home Confinement placement.
Since the release of Attorney General Barr's original memo to the Bureau of Prisons on March 26, 2020 instructing us to prioritize home confinement as an appropriate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BOP has placed an additional 566 inmates on home confinement. There are currently 3,419 inmate on home confinement and 7,199 inmates in Residential Reentry Centers (RRCs). To further assist inmates in pre-release custody, the BOP has waived financial requirement to pay subsistence fees.
We are deeply concerned for the health and welfare of those inmates who are entrusted to our care, and for our staff, their families, and the communities we live and work in. It is our highest priority to continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities.
The BOP appreciates the dedication and significant work of BOP staff in carrying out their difficult mission in the face of the public emergency. The BOP would also like to thank the Attorney General, the CDC, the Public Health Service, and our state and local community partners for their support and assistance in the BOP's COVID-19 response.