Excerpt from an article in the upcoming Graterfriends Newsletter
By Joan Porter
There are two main things that you need to understand about compassionate release: first and foremost, Compassionate Release is determined by a judge in the court of the county in which you were convicted. This is the law, NOT a prison policy.
Secondly, there are strict regulations that determine if someone qualifies for compassionate release. They are: the patient must have a terminal condition and not be expected to live more than one year, the patient cannot be ambulatory, that is, he/she cannot walk unaided more than a few steps, and lastly, the patient must have decided to give up any further medical treatment and only be willing to accept palliative care, that is care that will make her/him more comfortable. This is called hospice care.
Today most hospice patients are cared for in their family’s home if there is someone who can accept this responsibility. In cases where family members are too old to care for someone or live out of state, patients can be placed in a resident hospice facility in Pennsylvania. All patients no matter where they are housed must wear an electronic bracelet on their ankle placed there by parole. Again, this is the law, not prison policy.
If these standards are met, you can contact either a private lawyer or the Pennsylvania Prison Society who will put you in touch with someone who can be of help.