ICYMI: The CARES Act Home Confinement Program Safely Reduced Incarceration, Kept Families Together, and Advanced Public Safety

We wanted to make sure you saw Senator Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) recently-released policy brief on the CARES Act Home Confinement Program, highlighting the overwhelming success of this policy for individuals, families, and communities.

The Home Confinement Program is an evidence-based approach to reducing the federal prison population that allowed 13,204 people who were incarcerated in federal prisons to serve their sentences at home with vanishing low rates of recidivism. Congress passed the CARES Act in March of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to expand home confinement during the national emergency.

Key takeaways from the brief:

  • “Among the 13,204 individuals serving their sentence on home confinement since March 2020, only 22 individuals – (0.17%) [less than 1%] – have been rearrested for a new offense. Most of those 22 new offenses were for drug-related or other minor crimes.”
  • The Home Confinement Program “saved taxpayers millions, reunified families, and successfully integrated thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals back into society– all without compromising public safety.”
  • The Home Confinement Program brought enormous benefits to individuals, families, and communities: “beyond the numbers are the stories of individuals who have successfully integrated into society … rebuilt their lives, reconnected with their families, contributed to our economy, and have become productive members of their communities.”

Put simply, the success of the Home Confinement Program is yet another data point in the overwhelming and growing body of evidence showing that keeping people safely at home as an alternative to incarceration does not compromise public safety. To the contrary, it has enormous benefits to communities.

Policymakers should pursue more evidence-based criminal justice reforms that build on the Home Confinement program and defend and strengthen similar successful policies that safely reduce incarceration like bail reform, second look legislation, and eliminating mandatory minimums and sentence enhancements. These policies help keep more families together, strengthen communities, and advance public safety.

The CARES Act Home Confinement policy brief can be accessed here. If you are reporting on criminal justice reform, please feel free to reach out to FWD.us at press@fwd.us if you would like more information, or to speak with one of our experts.

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