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The Champion

March 2003 , Page 08 

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NACDL News: NACDL helps members fight changes in BOP policy

By Todd Bussert (Special to NACDL News)

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On December 20, Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer issued a memorandum to federal judges announcing the implementation of a significant policy change: effective immediately, the BOP shall not designate Community Corrections Centers (otherwise known as “halfway houses”) as the place of imprisonment for low-risk, short-term offenders. The change is planned for prospective implementation, except for the estimated 125 prisoners directly committed to CCCs with more than 150 days remaining to serve as of December 16, 2002. Whereas those individuals are slated for re-designation to other prisons, numerous legal challenges have been filed and are pending in district courts across the country.

According to the BOP and media accounts, this sudden sea change in a policy that dates back more than 20 years, and the related repudiation of the bureau’s authority under 18 U.S.C. §3621 to designate the place of a federal offender’s imprisonment, is the direct result of a December 13

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