Different Talk, Familiar Walk: More Medical and Elderly Releases under BOP’s Reduction in Sentence Program, but Other Inmates Still Out of Luck
When we last visited the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) reduction in sentence (RIS) program (sometimes erroneously called “compassionate release”), the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) had just blasted the BOP. (See Alan Ellis & EJ Hurst II, Federal BOP Puts a Little Compassion in Its Newest Release Program, 28 Crim. Just., no. 4, Winter 2014, at 41.) There was a dearth of RIS approvals, despite an overabundance of decision makers, and a genuine risk that inmates might not live long enough to run the bureaucratic gauntlet. (See DOJ- OiG, I-2013-006, THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS’ COMPASSIONATE RELEASE PROGRAM (2013), http://tinyurl.com/jc3zsm5 [hereinafter 2013 OiG rePOrt].) So the BOP was making some changes.