NACDL/FAMM State Clemency Project

Compassionate Release Clearinghouse

FAMM, NACDL, and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs seek volunteers in historic pro bono effort to secure compassionate release for the most vulnerable federal prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Volunteers Needed 

FAMM, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers ("NACDL"), the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and other advocates, is currently recruiting attorneys, social workers, and medical professionals to work on compassionate release motions for those prisoners most vulnerable to COVID-19: the elderly and chronically ill. If you are available to assist in this historic effort to protect our most vulnerable populations in federal prison, please fill out the form below, and NACDL will reach out to you to coordinate action.

The passage of the First Step Act in December 2018 expanded federal compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(1), allowing prisoners to file compassionate release motions directly with their sentencing courts. The First Step Act also expanded the sentencing courts’ discretion to reduce sentences based on “extraordinary and compelling reasons” under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(1). The COVID-19 pandemic is without question an “extraordinary and compelling reason.”

The Compassionate Release Clearinghouse seeks attorneys to draft and file compassionate release motions for prisoners, social workers to assist attorneys with prisoners’ reentry needs, and medical professionals to help attorneys understand clients’ medical conditions and explain to courts the urgency in light of impending medical emergency in overcrowded and unsanitary prisons.