If a person has already been convicted and sentenced to a term of federal prison, this does not mean that the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) pandemic is not relevant to them. In 2018, the First Step Act was passed which modified the way people can seek compassionate release from federal prison. This law applies to federal inmates who have been denied release by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and are disabled, terminally ill, or seek relief for other “extraordinary and compelling reasons”.
Locally, the women’s prison at FMC Carswell was reported to have had an inmate test positive. Carswell houses many female inmates with grave medical conditions, putting them at a higher risk if infected with COVID-19. Other similar outbreaks have been reported in various federal prisons in Butner North Carolina, USP Cannan Pennsylvania, FCI Oakdale in Louisiana, and FCI Elkton Ohio among others.
Our Experience in Seeking and Obtaining Compassionate Release
Even before the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) outbreak, Courts began releasing individuals under the First Step Act based on their personal circumstances and medical difficulties. Our attorneys have been aggressive in fighting for our clients since the First Step Act was passed and have been successful in obtaining release from federal prison. See United States v. Burkett, No. 4:15-CR-062-O (N.D.Tex. Oct. 7, 2019)
With the added danger to all federal inmates based on the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) outbreak, the assistance of skilled defense attorneys is critical in seeking relief. Numerous district courts across the country have begun releasing certain inmates based on their personal circumstances and the danger from the global pandemic. However, many courts are not agreeing to release inmates, and the Department of Justice’s position has been to only agree to release a very small percentage of inmates.
Burleson, Pate & Gibson’s Response to COVID-19
Our attorneys believe that the Department of Justice is not doing enough to protect the health of inmates in light of the COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) pandemic. The COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) pandemic must be taken seriously, and our experienced attorneys know how to use laws like the First Step Act to work for a client seeking compassionate release. If you or your loved one is seeking compassionate release from the Bureau of Prisons under the First Step Act, our attorneys can help you.
For more information, contact the attorneys at Burleson, Pate & Gibson about your case or your loved one’s case.
-Paul T. Lund