Debilitated Medical Condition Petition
Federal prisoners who have a debilitated medical condition are allowed to petition for compassionate release.
According to Bureau of Prisons Program Statement 5050.49, Compassionate Release/Reduction in Sentence, at § 3(b), in order to qualify under the Debilitated Medical Condition category, the inmate must “have an incurable, progressive illness” or have suffered from a “debilitating injury from which they will not recover.” The inmate must either be completely disabled, meaning that they cannot engage in “any self-care and [are]  confined to a bed or chair,” or are only able to engage in limited self-care and are “confined to a bed or chair [for] more than 50% of waking hours.”
Below we present a sample compassionate release petition for inmates who qualify under the Debilitated Medical Condition category. It should be noted that this is a simplified petition which features a fictional inmate. It is presented to help show what a petition under this provision could look like. Such compassionate release petitions are sometimes known as letters, applications, and forms. Regardless, all of these refer to the same document
We recommend that you consider hiring an attorney to assist in the compassionate release process as this is a nuanced process in which first impressions are very important. If you would like to hire an attorney to help, please contact the Law Offices of Brandon Sample. We have experience helping inmates seek compassionate release, and a proven track record of success.
See our debilitated medical condition page for more information about this category of compassionate release.
Sample Compassionate Release Petition for a Debilitated Medical Condition
Reg. No. 12345-678
P.O. Box 1000
Marion, IL 62959
February 2, 2018
_____ _____, Warden
4500 Prison Road
Marion, IL 62959
RE: Compassionate Release Petition for a Debilitated Medical Condition
Dear Warden _____:
My name is Jane Doe and I’m incarcerated at USP Marion. This letter serves as my petition for compassionate release in accordance with Program Statement 5050.49, Compassionate Release/Reduction in Sentence: Procedures for Implementation of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A).
This petition is specifically made as to the Debilitated Medical Condition category as discussed in Section 3(b) of the program statement. According to this program statement, inmates who have an “incurable, progressive illness” or who have suffered from a “debilitating injury from which they will not recover” and who are either completely disabled or are confined to a bed or chair for “more than 50 percent of waking hours” qualify for compassionate release under this policy provision.
On October 12, 2017, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor by USP Marion Health Services staff (see attached medical records). This tumor has impacted my motor functioning to the extent that I am now paralyzed from the waist down. As a result, I am confined to either a bed or a wheelchair. I require an assistant to help me with virtually all areas of daily living. This includes everything from dressing and bathing to virtually any mobility. My doctors say that the tumor is inoperable and that I will most likely never regain the use of my lower limbs. If the tumor grows, I could suffer additional physical and mental harm.
While in Bureau custody I have only been subject to the disciplinary program twice, both for moderate severity incident reports due to possessing anything unauthorized (Code 305s). These both concerned possession of kitchen food in the housing unit. I have participated in AA/NA meetings, the AIDS/HIV class, and the Drug Education Class. I also earned my GED and am an active participant in Chapel activities as a devoted Christian.
If you grant my petition for compassionate release based on my debilitated medical condition, I will reside with my husband, John Doe, at 234 First Street, Anytown, CA 00000. Due to my medical condition, I will be unable to gain employment. Instead, my husband will provide for me financially, including obtaining health insurance and all required medical care.
Thank you for your consideration of this compassionate release petition. I hope that you will allow me to go home and be with my family in this disabled state.
To learn more about the debilitated medical condition category of compassionate release or to receive the assistance of counsel, call 802-444-4357.