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Medical Furlough for State and Federal Inmates

Posted by: on Jun 9, 2009 | No Comments

A growing number of states, including now North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, Alabama, and Kansas, are creating programs to incorporate released of infirm or terminally ill prisoners, mostly in order to reduce the amount of money spent on prison health care. 36 states have some sort of program to allow for early release in case of terminal illness.
Alabama’s new law goes into effect on September first, allowing permanently incapacitated or dying to be ‘furloughed’. Only about 125 of the states more than twenty thousand inmates will likely be eligible, says the Prisons Commissioner. The ones considered for this furloughed parole will only be the sickest and frailest, and those convicted of capital offences and most sex crimes will not be eligible.
The policies and procedures of this system are still being analyzed and assessed by prison authorities. In some states it is known as medical furlough, in others, it’s called humanitarian parole or compassionate release. But in all cases, states rely on their board of pardons and paroles to monitor and follow up with inmates released on these programs.
The main reason behind the new wave of allowances for medical release is the skyrocketing cost of medically treating all of these inmates. By releasing or paroling them, the sick inmates costs will be transferred to Medicare, which is federally funded, or state and federally-funded Medicaid.
The inmates themselves will be sent to live with family, or put into hospice care.