How to Receive a Social Furlough

Social passes, included in family or community visitation schemes by select federal correctional facilities, provide a temporary reprieve from incarceration for specific situations such as a family death or other exceptional circumstances. These passes enable prisoners to spend time with their family members, preserving vital familial connections during challenging moments.

Obtaining a social furlough requires a clear understanding of the eligibility criteria, application process, and adherence to specific rules. Approval is extremely rare.

Determining Eligibility for a Social Furlough

To be considered for a social furlough, inmates must meet several key criteria:

  1. Duration of Incarceration: Inmates must have served a minimum period in prison, typically around six months, to qualify.
  2. Proximity to Release: The remaining sentence plays a role in determining furlough eligibility. Inmates closer to their release date are often preferred, with different allowances for travel distance based on the remaining sentence duration.
  3. Disciplinary Record: A spotless disciplinary record is essential. Inmates must demonstrate exemplary behavior.
  4. Rehabilitation Commitment: Demonstrating a commitment to rehabilitation is a critical factor, reflecting an inmate’s readiness to reintegrate into society.
  5. Detailed Plan: A well-defined plan for the furlough period, including activities and whereabouts, is required.
  6. Community Support: Having a sponsor or a responsible individual in the community to supervise the furlough period is often necessary.

Application Process

Applying for a social furlough involves a procedure that must be initiated well in advance of the eligible date. Although requests can be made up to two months before eligibility, processing often starts about two weeks prior, with approvals granted just a few days beforehand.

Restrictions and Conditions

Social furloughs come with stringent conditions to ensure safety and security:

  • Geographical Limits: Inmates are restricted to a specific area during the furlough.
  • No Contact with Victims or Witnesses: Inmates must avoid any contact with victims or witnesses related to their case.
  • Abstaining from Illegal Activities: Any involvement in illegal activities during the furlough can lead to serious consequences.
  • Staffing Requirements: The facility must have adequate staffing to manage the additional security requirements of the furlough.

Violating furlough terms can have severe repercussions, including immediate return to prison and potential loss of Earned Time Credits which can extend an individual’s time in prison.

Understanding Variations and Updates

It’s important to recognize that the availability and specifics of social furlough programs can vary across different federal prison camps. The decision to grant a furlough is at the discretion of the prison administration and can be influenced by factors like security concerns or policy changes. Inmates and their families should seek current, accurate information from prison officials or legal advisors.

Additional Resources