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Bill pushes feds to notify families of sick, dying inmates

Prison, Jail (FILE)
Posted at 8:42 AM, May 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-20 11:42:04-04

WASHINGTON (AP)  — New legislation in the Senate requires the Justice Department to establish guidelines for the federal Bureau of Prisons and state correctional systems 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.

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.