BOP Memos Concerning Home Confinement for Federal Prisoners During Covid-19 Pandemic

Records from the Department of Justice Bureau of Prisons in response to American Oversight’s request for risk assessments regarding federal prisoners being placed in home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic. These records include related memos.

Details on these documents are below.

In the Documents

April 3, 2020: Andre Matevousian, the acting assistant director of the BOP Correctional Programs Division, and Hugh Hurwitz, the assistant director of the Reentry Services Division, wrote a memorandum that outlined what factors would be considered when determining whether incarcerated individuals could be transferred to home confinement. 

The documents also included an operations memorandum from April 2019 titled “Home Confinement under the First Step Act.” This memo expired in April 2020 and directed the BOP to place incarcerated people with lower risk levels and lower needs on home confinement for the maximum time permitted when possible. 

April 6, 2020: Matevousian sent a memo outlining factors that should be used when considering non-transfer furloughs for at-risk incarcerated individuals who were within 12 months of their projected release date.

April 8, 2020: Matevousian and Hurwitz sent a memo about Home Confinement for Residential Drug Abuse Program participants. They asked that staff at each institution provide a list of RDAP participants that might be eligible for home confinement.

April 22, 2020: Matevousian and Hurwitz sent a memo about home confinement that added more factors to the April 3 memo, including the prioritization of those who had served more than 50 percent of their sentences or those who had 18 months or less remaining and had served 25 percent of their sentences.

May 8, 2020: Matevousian and Hurwitz added more factors in the consideration of home confinement, including an incarcerated individual’s institutional discipline history. The updated guidance stated that individuals who had moderate or low severity code infractions in the past year could also be referred for home confinement.

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