In an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus in prisons, US authorities have decided to release nearly 24,000 criminals who must now be sent back
Last year the decision to put prisoners under house arrest caused a wide public outcry in the US, but given the scale of the crisis Washington did go ahead with the move. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice issued a little-known ruling in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency that criminals would be returned to prison.
Joe Biden’s administration appears ready to take advantage of the legal mechanism, as vaccinations are well underway in the country. Meanwhile, many Democratic congressmen are pushing to overturn the ruling, effectively leaving criminals at large, Reuters writes.
Proponents of justice reform say that if the White House leaves the policy in place, it will ruin the lives of thousands of people who allegedly pose little threat to public safety and have already gotten jobs, returned to school and tried to reintegrate into society.
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“Keeping this memorandum directly contradicts the administration’s commitment to criminal justice reform”, – said Inimai Chettiar, director of Justice Action Network.