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Dream.Org Calls on White House and Senate Leaders to Preserve CARES Act Home Confinement

November 06, 2023

Despite remarkable rehabilitation success rates, Senate Republicans introduced a binding resolution to block the Department of Justice ruling that allows people released on home confinement to retain access to the CARES Act

Oakland, Calif. -November 6, 2023– Dream.Org urges the Senate and Biden Administration to preserve CARES Act home confinement after the declaration of the end of the COVID pandemic in response to the new binding resolution of disapproval introduced by U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Senate Republicans to block the ruling. The Senate is slated to vote on the resolution on Tuesday, November 7. The resolution introduced, S.J. Res 47, states the following:

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Department of Justice relating to “Office of the Attorney General; Home Confinement Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” (88 Fed. Reg. 19830 (April 4, 2023)), and such rule shall have no force or effect”

The CARES Act ruling from the Department of Justice, which was urged for in 2021 by Dream.Org and many other criminal justice and civil rights organizations, stated that wardens have the discretion to allow people who had been released from home confinement due to COVID-19 to continue to serve out their sentences in home confinement. This ruling has increased safety across the country through its unheard-of recidivism rate of 0.19% (compared to the average 43% recidivism rate) and by serving as a safety valve in overcrowded and understaffed prisons, while simultaneously resulting in substantially lower costs to taxpayers.

“The CARES Act, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, is one of the most successful programs of release in the recent history of our prison system, and we urge President Biden to make clear that he will veto this misguided legislation, ” said Dream.Org Chief Advocacy Officer Janos Marton. “With a 40% shortage of Federal Correctional Officers and prisons struggling to operate safely, home confinement is still of critical importance even with the height of the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. We’ve seen the clear benefits not only for people who are able to serve the remainder of their sentences from home and their families, but also for  taxpayers who pay more than twice as much to keep someone in prison as they do to monitor someone on home confinement.” 

With Sen. Blackburn’s resolution coming up for a vote as soon as Tuesday, November 7, Dream.Org has launched a petition to tell President Biden to make a commitment to veto S.J. Res 47 and preserve the successful CARES Act Home Confinement Program that prioritizes justice, public safety and rehabilitation. You can sign the petition here

Dream.Org is a bipartisan effort to transform justice across the country. We bring together leaders impacted by the criminal justice system with unlikely allies spanning the political divide to push for criminal justice solutions. Learn more at Dream.Org.

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