Contact: David Safavian
The American Conservative Union
April 3, 2020

ACU Applauds Bureau of Prisons for Compassionate Releases in Wake of COVID-19

Alexandria, VA The American Conservative Union issued a statement today applauding the Bureau of Prisons for their approval to release over 430 of the most vulnerable Federal prisoners in response to the spread of COVID-19.

David Safavian, General Counsel of the American Conservative Union commented: “The White House and leadership of the Department of Justice  deserve credit for working to mitigate the risks of the coronavirus spreading in our prisons. This is no easy task.  But it must be done – COVID-19 threatens not only people who are doing time paying for their mistakes, but our correctional officers and their communities as well.”

Pat Nolan, Founder and Director of the ACU Foundation’s Nolan Center for Justice noted:  “Ninety-five percent of the people in our federal prisons are supposed to return home after they’ve paid their debts to society.  But this virus potentially turns a prison sentence into a death sentence.”

The close conditions and lack of access to hygiene products in prisons, along with higher rates of underlying health issues for incarcerated individuals, presents a serious health risk for incarcerated persons and correctional staff. The failure to contain and slow the spread of this disease in our prisons creates a serious threat not only to those on the inside, but to the general public at large.

“The sick and elderly inmates, like those identified by BOP, have the lowest risk of reoffending and the highest risk of having their incarceration turn into a death sentence,” continued Safavian. “We hope to see the Administration lean-in more to these efforts and continue actions to protect the safety and health of our prison populations.”

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