The Biden administration is beginning the clemency process for certain inmates released to home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the White House announced Monday.
The process will start with a review of nonviolent drug offenders on CARES Act home confinement with four years or less to serve, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement. A provision of that federal stimulus law signed by President Donald Trump last year expanded the group of inmates eligible for early release.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is working hard every single day to reform our justice system in order to strengthen families, boost our economy, and give Americans a chance at a better future. As part of this, President Biden is deeply committed to reducing incarceration and helping people successfully reenter society,” Bates said.
“As he has said, too many Americans are incarcerated — and too many of those incarcerated are Black and Brown. That is why the President is exploring the use of his clemency power for individuals on CARES Act home confinement. The Administration will start the clemency process with a review of non-violent drug offenders on CARES Act home confinement with four years or less to serve,” Bates added.
Politico was first to report on the clemency process beginning for these inmates.
The Bureau of Prisons’ website says that “the BOP has 7,569 inmates on home confinement. The total number of inmates placed in home confinement from March 26, 2020 to the present (including inmates who have completed service of their sentence) is 31,503.”
The Biden administration is calling on those 7,569 to submit clemency applications to have their sentences commuted to time served if the individuals have less than four years left on their sentences.
CNN has reached out to the Bureau of Prisons for a breakdown of how many of the 7,569 are nonviolent drug offenders.
In Biden’s first six-and-a-half months in office, the period for which statistics are available, he did not grant any pardons or commutations. The President announced in May that he would tackle clemency in 2022.
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