Federal prisons urged to grant more early releases

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Associated Press

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — A report by two advocacy groups says the federal Bureau of Prisons should grant more early releases to incapacitated and terminally ill prisoners.

Human Rights Watch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums say the Bureau of Prisons humanitarian policy is sometimes "cruel as well as senseless." The BOP oversees more than 218,000 inmates, yet has recommended an average of only two dozen compassionate releases a year since 1992.

Responding by email, the BOP said it reviews each early-release request on a case-by-case basis and also takes into consideration information provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The report urges Congress to change the existing law, which gives prisoners no right to challenge BOP decisions in court.

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