Will Biden Veto A Bill That Would Send 3,000 Criminals Back to Prison?


The Trump administration allowed 13,000 federal non-violent prisoners to serve their sentences from home when the COVID-19 pandemic reached its peak. This was largely due to the increase in COVID-19 prison deaths as a result of the tight quarters of many prisons and the general unhygienic conditions of many prisoners.

Before Trump left his office, the Justice Department issued a memo demanding the inmates to be sent back to prison for the remainder of their sentences once the pandemic was over.

The plan didn’t pan out. The Biden Justice Department issued an order allowing the prisoners to finish their sentences at home.

Most of the prisoners had been convicted of non-violent drug crimes. Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States, said it would be a bad policy to send these people back to prison after they have demonstrated their ability to live at home without violating any rules.

Senate Joint Resolution 47 was introduced by Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, and 28 Republicans co-sponsored it. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton wrote in a letter that Biden’s proposed veto “betrays victims, law enforcement agencies, and those who trusted the federal government to keep criminals out of the neighborhoods they terrorized”.

The administration released a policy statement defending the President’s actions.

The statement states that “of the 13,000 people who were released to home confinement, less than 1% committed a new crime, most often for low-level, non-violent offenses, and all of them were sent back to prison.” This program saved the taxpayers millions and allowed the BOP to focus on those in Federal prison who are at higher risk or have greater needs.


The criminal justice advocacy groups have began pressing the Biden administration to reverse this decision. They argued that the program was a complete success and it would be absurd and cruel to return people to prison who have thrived outside. White House refused to reverse the decision, announcing instead a clemency program that would only target nonviolent drug offenders. This left thousands of other offenders such as white collar offenders to return to jail regardless of their behavior. Last December, however, the Justice Department reversed its decision and released a new memo stating that the BOP could leave them under house arrest for the rest of their sentence.

It may not matter much to the left, but, allowing these prisoners to remain in home confinement undermines the rule-of-law and mocks individual responsibility. Shouldn’t the decision be made on an individual basis, rather than a blanket one for all released prisoners? The criminal justice system may consider some crimes these criminals have committed as “nonviolent”, but they are by definition outside civil society’s bounds.

I agree with Sen. Cotton. Biden’s “veto betrays victims and law enforcement agencies,” so the president shouldn’t sign it.