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FLEOA Urges Against Early Prisoner Releases

FLEOA Sends White House Letter Urging Against Early Prisoner Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 April 23, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Larry Cosme, National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), sent a letter to President Trump this month regarding the potential early release of prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cosme issued the following statement regarding the letter:

"President Trump has been a consistent supporter of rank and file federal law enforcement performing their duties to protect the American people; however, we fear some in Congress and the Administration are looking to exploit the current pandemic to allow for the early release of convicted criminals. Therefore, FLEOA felt it necessary to appeal to the President directly to urge him against placing an unprecedented strain on federal law enforcement by giving in to this manipulation of the justice system," said FLEOA President Cosme.

"The brave men and women of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services, who are tasked with monitoring individuals released from federal prisons, are already understaffed and overworked as our federal government implements the First Step Act. Allowing for the early release of additional prisoners during the current crisis will only cause further strain on Probation Officers," said Cosme. "We know that, too often, individuals released from federal prisons return to a life of crime. Releasing additional prisoners without the Probation Officers in place to monitor their release could easily provide more public harm than intended.”

"Allowing for prisoner early release would also take prisoners out of an environment where they have adequate food, healthcare, and housing and place them into the general public. If the goal is to limit the spread of the virus, keeping inmates inside facilities in which the Bureau of Prisons is able to closely monitor visitation and movement is ideal,” Cosme furthered.

"As noted in our letter to the President, FLEOA can understand cases where a prisoner is in their senior years, has fulfilled most of their sentence and has a serious underlying health condition where a compassionate release case can be made to maintain their health and safety along with that of the public. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening in many cases. Instead, creative defense attorneys are exploiting the system to get prisoners out early,” Cosme explained. "It is our hope that Congress and the President will not be swayed by false calls of compassion and, instead, keep inmates in the only place in which they are guaranteed to not risk public safety and health - their prison cell.”

 

FLEOA is the nation’s largest non-partisan, not-for-profit professional association representing more than 28,000 federal law enforcement officers and agents across 65 federal agencies.