The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has released a report titled Federal Prisoners and COVID-19: Background and Authorities to Grant Release.
The CRS report provides information on DOJ’s response to the threat of COVID-19 as it pertains to federal prisons and the authorities that may permit the release of some federal prisoners because of the pandemic.
The report starts with a brief overview of why the prison environment is conducive to the spread of COVID-19 and what is currently known about how many federal prisoners might be at risk of serious complications if they contract the virus. Next, the report provides an overview of BOP’s COVID-19 action plan and the Attorney General’s memorandum. The report concludes with a discussion of current authorities that could allow for some federal prisoners to be released and legislation introduced in the Senate that would alter the operation of some of those authorities.