You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe



Congress must act to give courts leeway for sick prisoners

Re “Imprisoned DiMasi weak with cancer, wife says” (Page A1, March 7): Congress has left federal judges without the statutory power on their own to remedy post-sentence medical problems such as those that occurred to former House speaker Salvatore DiMasi; instead, Congress has placed responsibility for responding to unforeseen but catastrophic medical events, such as DiMasi’s throat cancer, in the hands of the Bureau of Prisons.

The bureau has proved to be unwilling or unable to exercise its authority to care for or seek the release of nonviolent inmates whose medical circumstances require relief that is unavailable within the prison system. The bureau has used its power to seek “compassionate release” in only the rarest of cases despite the reality that there are untold numbers of federal prisoners suffering from devastating medical conditions in prisons far from their families.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week