For Immediate Release: December 21, 2021
COLOR OF CHANGE: D.O.J. RULE CHANGE IS A WELCOME STEP TOWARD ENDING MASS INCARCERATION – BUT DOES NOT EXCUSE BIDEN FROM USING CLEMENCY
Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice and Democracy Campaigns at Color Of Change, issued this statement after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland reversed a Trump-era policy that would have returned thousands of individuals on home confinement to prison at the end of the pandemic:
“We applaud the Justice Department’s reconsideration of the Office of Legal Counsel memo. Today’s announcement from Attorney General Merrick Garland reverses a cruel, Trump-era policy decision that would have ripped thousands of people on home confinement from their families and returned them to prison whenever the pandemic was declared over. This win simply would not have been possible without the forceful advocacy of the racial justice movement and the bravery of incarcerated people and their loved ones who spoke out.
“This decision from the Justice Department marks an important step in the right direction, but it still relies on home confinement, which can lead to incarceration for minor violations. While everyone we’ve spoken with on home confinement is grateful to be with their families, they’ve also suffered while trying to navigate the cruel, bureaucratic restrictions of home confinement that, when violated (for example, by missing a phone call), can result in a return to prison. Keeping people on home confinement isn’t enough; these individuals need clemency.
“Nearly a full year into his term, President Biden has yet to use his clemency powers, despite a growing backlog of clemency applications and repeated demands from advocates, incarcerated people, and even members of Congress. President Biden has the authority to safely release thousands from confinement and end the nationwide incarceration crisis. He must act now.”
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org