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June 19, 2019

Noticing that early federal prisoner release often means earlier deportation for non-citizen offenders

The Marshall Project has this new piece spotlighting how the FIRST STEP Act will result in expedited deportation for some of the prisoners getting their sentences reduced.  The piece is headlined "First Step Offers Release for Some Prisoners—But Not Non-Citizens: About 750 federal inmates will be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody starting in mid-July." Here are excerpts:

President Trump convened a news conference last week to celebrate the release of 3,000 federal prisoners on July 19 as part of the First Step Act. But not all of those inmates will actually walk free: 750 non-citizens could well face deportation....

The 750 non-citizens released from federal prisons will be held for transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody so ICE can start the deportation process, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

While the Trump administration has pressed to increase deportations, there is ample precedent for non-citizens being released from prison, only to be ejected from the country. In 2015, during the Obama administration, more than 6,000 prisoners were released after the nonpartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission revised sentencing guidelines for some drug crimes. More than 20 percent of those released were sent to ICE to face deportation....

About 35,000 people of foreign or unknown origin make up nearly 20 percent of all federal prisoners in Bureau of Prisons custody. People from Mexico constitute the largest population of non-citizens with prisoners born in Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Cuba as the next largest identifiable groups....

Nearly half of foreign-born federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug trafficking or related offenses, while those convicted of immigration offenses such as illegal reentry after deportation make up 28 percent.

Once detained by ICE, those released from federal prisons can theoretically be released on bond, said Ricardo S. Martinez, a chief U.S. district judge and chair of a federal judicial committee that reviews criminal justice bills and laws. “But more likely they are held until they can be repatriated back to their country of origin,” he said.

June 19, 2019 at 12:04 AM | Permalink


I am a student, an activist, and have an Inmate Advocacy Company which I founded with a program waiting for implementation under the First Step Act. This is a program I have personally worked on for 5 years, initially calling it a work furlough and conditional release program. Under FSA it was changed to Home Confinement Program. I am also a student at 67 y/o studying for my doctoral degree in Sociology w/concentration in Deviance, Oaks program is not just a business entity, it is a research study in the impact on families for reentry by a household member. The Home confinement program offers a MORE intense method of incarceration, without the costs and social impact of an actual prison. In BOP camps there are often one officer on duty for 500 to 600 people, weekends and holidays, and more during the workweek that is the non-correctioal staff. Oaks program not only monitors in REAL time every step they take, but every breathe and every heartbeat. The participants give up a substantial amount of privacy in exchange for being home with their families to support them financially and socially. Our program does NOT cost the BOP/DOJ or USA taxpayers a dime! in fact, our program creates over 1200 skilled jobs and 225 Administrative/management jobs and saves the US govt $4.2 BILLION dollars in the first 4 years alone. I am happy to send you a powerpoint but you know the statistics as well as the socio-economic issues placed on the children and elderly parents of the first time non-violent offender. the BOP does not want to move forward on the provisions of the FSA for Home Confinement. too many of the wardens and other high-level personnel depend on a high population to earn higher pay. Please contact me to offer any suggestions you might have or questions.
I am also a former resident felon of a BOP Camp
Kindest Regards
814 205 1214

Posted by: JOANNE B MORGAN | Jan 1, 2020 1:25:54 PM

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