WASHINGTON — The Justice Department today overturned a Trump administration memo that would have forced thousands of people transferred from prison to home confinement during COVID-19 to go back to prison. 

Statement from ACLU Justice Division Director Udi Ofer: 

“We commend Attorney General Garland for his leadership and for listening to thousands of families who asked not to be separated from their loved ones. The ACLU and allies on the right and left have asked the Justice Department and President Biden to keep people home, and today the Justice Department delivered. Thousands of people can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will be able to remain in the communities where they have been living and working. 

“Voters overwhelmingly agree with this decision. A poll released by the ACLU yesterday found that 68 percent of voters believe that it would be unfair to force these individuals back to prison. 

“We also recognize that the threat of eventual return to prison is still present, so we ask President Biden to use his clemency powers to provide permanent relief to families. A future administration can still force people back to prison, and families will not have permanent closure until their cases are fully resolved. So while we celebrate today, we also commit to continuing to advocate for President Biden to use his power of clemency to commute these sentences.”

Statement from ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero:

“Attorney General Garland’s leadership on this issue has made all the difference in this policy debate. We thank the Justice Department for reversing this wrong-headed policy first issued by the Trump administration in its last days in office, and for listening to the thousands of families who asked not to be separated from their loved ones.” 

Copy of ACLU Coalition Letter to President Biden: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/right-left-coalition-urges-biden-administration-grant-clemency-individuals-home

ACLU TV ads on home confinement: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/six-figure-aclu-famm-ad-buy-urges-biden-issue-clemency-4000-people-currently-home

ACLU poll on home confinement: https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/aclu-poll-shows-broad-bipartisan-support-biden-grant-clemency-people-transferred-home

 

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