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Ossoff bill pushes federal prisons to keep families informed

Federal Correctional Institution Edgefield
Federal Correctional Institution Edgefield(WRDW)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 12:34 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON - New legislation in the Senate would require guidelines for federal prisons to notify the families of inmates if their loved one has a serious illness, a life-threatening injury or if they die behind bars.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Jon Ossoff and John Kennedy.

It’s the latest maneuver by Congress to further oversight of the beleaguered federal prison system, which has lurched from crisis to crisis in recent years.

Among the system’s local facilities is the Edgefield Federal Correction Institution.

“Too often, the families of those incarcerated never find out about a serious illness, a life-threatening injury, or even the death of a loved one behind bars. That’s why we introduced this bipartisan reform legislation,” Ossoff said.

The bill’s introduction on Thursday comes more than two years after The Associated Press reported how the federal Bureau of Prisons had ignored its internal guidelines and failed to notify the families of inmates who were seriously ill with coronavirus.

“This is about good policy. Families have the right to know about the wellbeing of their loved ones, and our bill would simply make sure that happens,” said Kennedy.

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