Compassionate release – originally introduced into law by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, and recently modified under the First Step Act of 2018 – permits incarcerated individuals to seek a reduction in sentence from their sentencing judge. The Act technically grants all individuals incarcerated in federal prisons and penitentiaries eligibility for compassionate release, so long as they are able to demonstrate “extraordinary and compelling reasons” for a reduction in sentence. Typically, sentences are reduced for dying, incapacitated, and elderly prisoners. But even the elderly or terminally ill face a complicated administrative process with the Bureau of Prisons if they are seeking compassionate release.
An experienced lawyer can assist in obtaining compassionate release for an inmate by filing a motion in court. Successful motions for release will demonstrate that extraordinary and compelling reasons justify an early release, substantiate that an inmate’s early release from prison is reasonable, and propose release plans that work to re-integrate the inmate after incarceration. Navigating this process alone is difficult. Your chances of being granted release are greatly increased when a knowledgeable, experienced attorney is by your side.