Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel announced that it will that will no longer require people serving on CARES Act home confinement to return to prison en masse at the end of the pandemic. In the last days of the Trump administration, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a memo that would require over 2,800 individuals placed on home confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic to be returned to prison once the public health emergency ends.
On August 4, 2021, Democracy Forward—along with FAMM, Justice Action Network, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Tzedek Association—sent a letter to the Department of Justice and the Office of Legal Counsel making it clear that the Trump-era memo should be rescinded.
In response to the OLC memo stating people on CARES Act home confinement won’t have to return to prison en masse, Democracy Forward President & CEO Skye Perryman released the following statement:
“As the holiday season approaches, this news from the Department of Justice will be welcomed by thousands of people and their families. The Trump-era memo was incorrect as a matter of law. Its conclusion was inconsistent with the plain text of the CARES Act as well as the pre-existing authority for home confinement. What’s more, it interfered with the ability of potentially over 2,800 individuals living on home confinement to successfully reintegrate into society. We are proud to be in solidarity with FAMM, Justice Action Network, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Tzedek Association in celebration of today’s announcement.”
Democracy Forward is a nonprofit legal organization founded in 2017 that litigates cases involving government action on behalf of organizations, individuals, and municipalities. The organization has taken 650 legal actions and achieved victories supporting democracy and improving the lives and wellbeing of people and communities. Democracy Forward Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.