Attorney General William Barr instructed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to move nonviolent inmates who are at risk of contracting the coronavirus out of prison facilities and allow them to serve out their sentences in home confinement.
"But for some eligible inmates, home confinement might be more effective in protecting their health."
Barr directed the bureau to prioritize home confinement for prisoners in low- and minimum-security facilities who pose no safety threat to the community and have a low likelihood of recidivism.
The BOP medical director has been instructed to assess an inmate's risk factor in contracting COVID-19, including coronavirus exposures at the particular prison facility as well as the individual inmate's health history and age.
Inmates at some of the most heavily populated prisons in the country -- including Rikers Island in New York and California State Prison in California -- tested positive for COVID-19 and the risk of spread throughout prison facilities is troublesome because of the close proximity of prisoners to each other and BOP staff.