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AV Letter Opposes Higher Confiscation Rates in Federal Corrections

A proposed change to the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program would confiscate 75% of outside contributions to an incarcerated person’s commissary account to pay off court-ordered fines, fees, and restitution.

Arnold Ventures’ Criminal Justice team has taken action to protect thousands of incarcerated people who rely on contributions sent to them by family and friends to afford basic goods and services in prison. 

In a letter to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BPO) sent on March 13, AV respectfully stated its opposition to proposed changes to 28 CFR 545 regarding the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program (IFRP) which would confiscate 75% of the contributions that are sent to incarcerated people by their loved ones. 

AV believes that, if implemented, this rule change will deprive low-income people incarcerated by the BOP of basic necessities, punish families of the incarcerated while disrupting critical community ties, and cause particular harm to Black, Latino, and low-income families and communities.

Instead, AV suggests that the BOP should consider approaches that are calibrated to each person’s financial circumstances. The BOP itself acknowledges that this would offer a more equitable means to serve the stated purposes of the IFRP.

At Arnold Ventures, we aim to correct systemic failures through evidence-based solutions,” the letter says. We oppose financial sanctions that fail to account for a person’s financial circumstances, because they inevitably result in a two-tiered’ system of justice: those with means are able to pay their bill and avoid further consequences, but those without bear an economic hardship often out of proportion to the seriousness of their offense.”

Read the entire comment letter below: