The Bureau of Prisons is making it easier for inmates to seek early release for special circumstances, such as a terminal illness.



n 1984, Congress empowered federal courts to reduce federal prisoners’ sentences for “extraordinary and compelling reasons.” Those reasons, later fleshed out by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, include terminal illness, deteriorating physical or mental health, and the the death or incapacitation of the only family member capable of caring for a prisoner’s minor child or children.

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