Compassionate Release

Obtaining compassionate release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons is anything but simple. Federal inmates can request compassionate release for medical, non-medical, and elderly reasons. Sadly, few will be granted. By understanding the process and the criteria for each category of compassionate release, your chances of success can be significantly improved. Compassionate release examples are also provided to assist in understanding the matter.

Applying for Compassionate Release

After you understand the process of applying for compassionate release and the specific reason for compassionate release, the next step is to apply for relief.Compassionate Release Examples Most federal inmates employ a letter format when applying for compassionate release. This means that they basically write a letter to the Warden requesting early release, and explaining why they qualify. The following is generally included in such a letter:

  • A statement that compassionate release is being sought.
  • The specific provision the application is being made under.
  • How the criteria for the specific provision are met.
  • Other applicable background information (e.g., medical, familial, etc.).
  • The prisoner's release plan.

It is essential to enclose documentation which supports the application for compassionate release. For example, if the application is being made because of a medical condition, copies of the relevant medical records should be enclosed. Similarly, if the application is being made due to the death or incapacitation of a minor child's caregiver, a full twelve categories of documentation must be included.

Examples of Compassionate Release Requests

Whether the request for compassionate release is referred to as a letter, application, form, or any other term, it generally consists of the same elements: a letter or other written request and supporting documentation. In an effort to help demystify the process of applying, we have developed sample petitions for all seven categories of compassionate release. Click on the hyperlinks below to see examples of each type of compassionate release petition.

For inmates who have been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition, and who have a life expectancy of 18 months or less.

For inmates who have an incurable, progressive illness or who have suffered from a debilitating, permanent injury, which renders them completely or substantially disabled.

For inmates who were sentenced after November 1, 1987, who are at least 70 years old, and who have been in prison for 30 years or more.

For inmates who are 65 years of age or older, suffer from a chronic or serious age-related medical condition which substantially diminishes their ability to function, and who have served at least half of their prison sentence.

For inmates who are 65 years of age or older, and who have served the greater of either 10 years imprisonment or 75 percent of their sentence.

For inmates who have a child under 18 and whose family caregiver has either died or become incapacitated.

For inmates whose spouse or registered partner has become incapacitated due to debilitating physical illness, serious injury, or cognitive defect.

Professional Assistance

Given the complexity of the compassionate release process, it is highly recommended that you retain competent counsel to assist in the process of seeking relief. At the Law Offices of Brandon Sample, we have considerable experience in the researching, drafting, and submitting of compassionate release petitions. First impressions are essential, especially when time is of the essence and Federal Bureau of Prisons officials are the gatekeepers. Give yourself the best possible chance of success by retaining professional assistance.

If you have other questions or are interested in other compassionate release examples, please call 802-444-4357.

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