Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
It has been reported that federal prisoners are facing serious tolls from COVID-19. One article reported as of the writing of this article that 70% of federal prisoners tested positive for COVID-19, while another states that over 1,500 federal prisoners are positive. The spread of the coronavirus is very difficult to control, and the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) needs to take steps to avoid the spread.
To keep prisoners safe, federal prisons may need to release inmates or furlough sentences to allow inmates to get away from the shared living quarters of the prison and into safer conditions. If you are a federal prisoner or your loved one is being held in a federal prison, contact The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today for a free legal consultation. Contact our attorney for federal prison release petitions for COVID-19 (coronavirus) by calling (814) 826-3586.
Can Federal Prisoners Be Released Early Because of Coronavirus?
Many states are making moves to release prisoners who are at high risk of complications from COVID-19. These states have taken steps to fast-track parole releases, release additional inmates who are close to parole, allow at-risk prisoners to temporarily or permanently leave the prison, and adjust sentences to leave fewer people incarcerated. Some of these same processes could work in the federal system, but other federal prisoners might not be able to take advantage of the same procedures.
The U.S. prison system does not have parole. Since November 1987, prisoners in the federal system cannot seek parole. This is because of changes to sentencing that worked to give precise sentences instead of ranges, which could have early release after serving a minimum sentence. However, that was 33 years before the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, so there may be federal prisoners still serving long sentences from before that date. Those inmates could seek parole, which might allow them to be released to avoid the coronavirus. Most inmates in this situation would be at least 51 years old, which also puts them at high risk of COVID-19 complications and increases the need for release.
Prisoners with preexisting health conditions and complications may have the most immediate need for release as a reprieve from COVID-19. Asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and other medical conditions can increase the risk that your exposure to coronavirus will become very serious or deadly. These people might end up on ventilators or require hospitalization to deal with their exposure, and avoiding exposure in the first place is the best way to keep them safe. Older adults and are also at increased risk that their COVID-19 case will be serious, so they could also fight for release on these grounds.
The federal government does authorize medical release, furloughs, and other programs that could allow people to leave prison for some time. Resentencing or habeas corpus petitions could also potentially get a prisoner released.
If you have been arrested and charged with a federal crime, but you have not yet gone to trial or faced sentencing, you could either be let out on bail or held in jail. Under typical circumstances, you should be brought before a judge to determine whether you can be released before trial or whether you are too dangerous or are a flight risk. If you are a risk, bail might be set at a high amount or denied. If you are detained before trial, the detention should last no longer than necessary, and your case should be scheduled and handled as quickly as possible.
Because court cases are being pushed back or put on hold because of the coronavirus, the Department of Justice has sought long delays and indefinite holds on pretrial detainees. This could be a severe violation of human and civil rights. It is also a step in the wrong direction, as pretrial detainees should be released and kept away from close quarters with other detainees, not kept in jail where they are at risk of getting COVID-19.
How to Seek Release for Federal Inmates During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If your loved one is being held in a federal prison or is being held while they await trial in the federal system, you should speak with a lawyer about how to get them released. The processes for this kind of release might not be obvious in most cases. While some prisoners will be able to request parole because they were sentenced under older parole systems, others will have to use other tactics to seek release. Similarly, some pretrial detainees will be able to make motions to have bail set or reduced, but others being held without trial will have to resort to other tactics.
In some cases, a habeas corpus petition will be the best way to seek release. This kind of petition is used to challenge a prisoner’s detention for various reasons. In general, the high availability of technology like video chat helps keep court processes functioning even during emergencies like this, which should allow petitions to be heard.
Other petitions and requests could be filed for furlough, medical release, reprieves, and other options to help get a prisoner temporarily or permanently released from federal prison for COVID-19.
Call Our Lawyer for Federal Prisoner Release Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
If you are a federal prisoner or who have a friend or loved one who is incarcerated at a federal facility, call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today. Our attorney for federal prison release petitions for COVID-19 (coronavirus) might be able to help you seek release to help keep people safe from coronavirus. For a free legal consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.