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Unless we push Biden to grant these 4,000 people clemency, they will be sent back to prison, ripped from their families and communities once again after over a year of reconnecting and re-establishing themselves while living under home confinement.
This cruelty is unimaginable and we can’t let it happen. Join us in demanding President Biden grant clemency to all those on home confinement today!
Nkechi, let’s refresh: At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Congress passed the CARES Act, which allowed thousands of people to be sent home to finish their sentences on home confinement after being heavily vetted, screened, and determined to not have been part of a violent crime.
People like Lawrence McCarroll, who has already served over 27 years for a non-violent first-time drug offense, have been able to reconnect with their families, provide for their communities, start school, open credit cards, and get jobs.
But unless Biden grants clemency to all of the 4,000+ people on home confinement like Lawrence, all of that progress will come to an abrupt and cruel end when they are sent back to prison whenever the health emergency subsides.
And in the meantime, these people are living in tortoruous limbo under strict confinement. Lawrence isn’t even able to sit with his aging mother as she receives chemo treatments.
Nkechi, this is simply inhumane.
Nkechi, we want to let you know that we have already moved the Adminsitration and Department of Justice, but we need to push them further.
The Administration has decided to send clemency applications to all non-violent drug offenders on home confinement with 4 or less years left on their sentences. And just this past Wednesday, the DOJ said they will rework the legal memo which says people must be returned to prison whenever the pandemic subsides.
But Nkechi, it’s not enough for people to continue living on home confinement. Under these restrictions, people like Amanda Cooper, who is dealing with health issues as a result of medical neglect in prison, can’t even go to the emergency room without checking with her halfway house first.
This is no way to live. We need CLEMENCY, not more confinement. And we need clemency for ALL of the individuals on home confinement, not just some.
Everyone in the program was already rigorously vetted by the Bureau of Prisons in order to be on home confinement in the first place. And almost everyone released has since been thriving at home by reconnecting with their friends, families, and communities, and engaging in civic and professional life.
We can’t let Biden pick and choose who deserves to be at home with their families and who deserves to be locked up in a cage based on historically racist criteria.
Nkechi, unless we move him, Biden will be presiding over the fastest expansion of the federal prison population in history when the pandemic is declared over.
Granting clemency to those on home confinement who were released to curb the spread of COVID in prisons is well without Biden’s powers, and a vital corrective mechanism in a criminal justice system that, at its core, criminalizes Black communities.
But clemency powers are historically not used enough because of political reasons, not because people are undeserving of being freed from prison.
Nkechi, we need to remind Biden that the political and moral fallout of re-caging people at the end of this pandemic is an egregious mischaracterization of justice.
If Biden is going to make a meaningful impact towards ending racialized mass incarceration, he needs to grant clemency to the 4,000+ people living on home confinement today.
Until Justice is Real,
Scott, Erika, Rashad, Arisha, Malachi, Megan, Ernie, Palika, Ariel, Madison, Trevor, Erick, Ana, Kristiana, McKayla and the Color Of Change team