Federal prisoners who filed a class action lawsuit requesting releases due to COVID-19, have reached a settlement agreement with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), according to the Santa Maria Times.
Shawn Fears, Andre Brown, Yonnedil Torres, Vincent Reed and Felix Garcia, filed suit on behalf of themselves and 2,700 other prisoners at Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex. The suit was filed with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The suit alleged that the Director of BOP Michael Carvajal and Warden Bryan Birkholz violated eighth amendment prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment by not doing enough to stop the spread of COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Under the terms of the settlement agreement, officials agree to review all inmates within the settlement class for home confinement pursuant to [then U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s] memo,” the article reports.
Barr wrote a memorandum on March 26, 2020, and April 3, 2020, authorizing home confinement for prisoners medically vulnerable to covid-19.
Officials at Lompoc have agreed to review all federal prisoners to determine who qualifies for release under the memo.
Prisoners with underlying medical conditions including heart conditions, HIV, asthma, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and other immune-compromised conditions are eligible for home confinement.
Officials were also ordered to “continue to make a full and speedy use of their authority” under the CAREs act when evaluating each prisoners eligibility for home confinement and coronavirus risk factors, the article said.
Both parties agreed that no admission of liability would result from the settlement agreement.
This settlement agreement will remain in effect until Dec. 17, 2022 or the time when the new U.S. Attorney General announces emergency conditions “no longer materially affect” the BOP functions, whichever comes first, the article reports.