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H.R. 2194: To provide for expedited compassionate release in the event of a public health emergency.

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 26, 2021.

This bill expands statutory authority for federal prisoners to be temporarily released on furlough or granted compassionate release during a public health emergency.

First, the bill authorizes the temporary release of prisoners in the event of a public health emergency if there is a substantial, imminent health risk to the prisoner, other prisoners, or employees of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The bill also authorizes courts, in addition to the BOP, to grant temporary release.

Second, the bill establishes new procedures for compassionate release requests during public health emergencies. Specifically, the bill requires the BOP to promptly release a defendant's medical records and requires the court to expedite rulings on compassionate release motions.