Why is the Federal Bureau of Prisons So Recalcitrant When It Comes to Granting Compassionate Release to Aging and Ill People?
Date:  07-29-2016

Out of 2,621 applications for compassionate release during in a 13 month time period only 85 people were released
The following article by Victoria Law was originally Published in Truthout on July 26, 2016.

On June 23, 2016, Mary Rose Ziman received devastating news. Her request for compassionate release had been denied.

As reported earlier, the 67-year-old suffers from debilitating fibromyalgia, has three cancerous spots on her left lung, requires the use of three inhalers and has only 51 percent lung capacity. She is blind in one eye and has a cataract in the other. She has been hospitalized numerous times during her 17 years in prison. Her latest hospitalization occurred in March 2016; she spent 10 days in the hospital for a kidney infection stemming from an untreated urinary tract infection.

Between 2009 and 2013, the number of people ages 50 and older in federal prisons increased by 25 percent, making them the fastest-growing segment. The increase is not a result of an influx of older people into the prison system; rather, people serving lengthy sentences are aging behind bars. At the end of 2013, aging people comprised 26 percent of those held in minimum-security prisons, 23 percent in low-security prisons, and 33 percent in prison medical centers. Ziman applied for executive clemency, which would have lessened her 27-year sentence and allowed her to return home early. Her petition was denied in April 2016, shortly after she returned from the hospital. Ziman then filed a petition for compassionate release. Read more