As the Department of Justice began transferring more than 6,000 people incarcerated on drug charges out of federal prisons on Friday, rights campaigners celebrated the development while also expressing concern for those whose imminent release may not mean freedom at all.

Of those people slated for transfer on Friday and Monday from 122 Bureau of Prisons facilities across the country, one third are not U.S. citizens and will be sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody and likely deported.

Of the 4,348 people who will not be deported, 80 percent will be placed in halfway houses or forced into home confinement. The other 20 percent will be placed under the supervision of probation officers.

James Kilgore, who spent six and a half years in prison and authored the book Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People’s Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time, told Common Dreams: “While any actions that reduce the number of people held behind bars are welcome, this release prompts a lot of questions.”
Click Here: camisetas de futbol baratas“What programs are in place to assist the people released to be able to find work, re-connect with family members and integrate into the community?” Kilgore posed. “Most will be returning to households and neighborhoods that are already feeling the pinch of economic and social crisis as well as over-policing. My fear is that these quick-fix, quick release programs will land people into the depths of poverty and homelessness.”

“On top of this,” Kilgore continued, “there is the promise to put many under electronic monitoring with house arrest, another draconian regime which hardly equates with freedom. So let us celebrate the release, but let us keep an eye on what happens to these individuals, beyond whether or not they end up back in prison.”

What’s more, many expressed concern about what will happen to those handed over to ICE, particularly given reports of widespread human rights abuses within immigrant detention centers.