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Update on implementation of DC Code 24-403.04 Motions for Compassionate Release

Thursday, August 27, 2020

On April 7, 2020, the DC Council passed emergency legislation which expanded the eligibility of DC Code Offenders to apply to the Superior Court for compassionate release. Soon after the passage of the legislation, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, the Public Defender Service of DC, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and several organizations came together to provide information about the new legislation and create the DC Compassionate Release Clearinghouse to assign volunteer attorneys to persons deemed eligible to apply for compassionate release. The DC Corrections Information Council mailed copies of the informational materials to every DC Code Offender detained by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Subsequently, approximately 600 prisoners have contacted the DC Compassionate Release Clearinghouse seeking legal assistance. On August 18, 2020, the DC Corrections Information Council received an update on the progress of the process of the compassionate release applications. As of August 18, 2020, two hundred and forty-eight (248) cases have been filed in Superior Court. Of those, one hundred and four (104) cases have been decided. Of those, twenty-nine persons have been granted compassionate release as a result of the new legislation.

If you have additional questions about Compassionate Release, please contact the DC Compassionate Release Clearinghouse at: [email protected], or 202-319-1074.

If you or a family member have been granted compassionate release, please contact [email protected] so we can learn more about you and your success.