Neither Carmen nor Martha were released from prison today because of complications as to where they would live. Carmen had thought he could return to St. Joseph’s House Catholic Worker in NYC where he has lived and worked for 40 years. It had been visited by probation officers several times and had been apparently approved. Seven friends traveled up to Otisville this morning to greet him and bring him back to NYC. However, after we were told to wait in the parking lot watching while 20 or so other inmates walked out to their waiting friends and family over the course of an hour, prison officials came out to tell us that St. Joe’s was not approved because it was not COVID safe since Carmen would share a bedroom and bathroom with others. Why they waited until the last minute to tell Carmen and the waiting supporters he would not be released today as scheduled is not known. Now people are trying to find alternative living arrangements that would be acceptable to Carmen and the probation authorities. No one knows how long this will take.
Martha has known for several days that there were problems with her release to home confinement under the CARES Act as originally scheduled for May 17. She now expects to be released on May 26 to go to a halfway house in New Hampshire, two hours drive from her home in Vermont, for some period of time under supervision before getting home confinement.
We will keep you posted as to the next developments in this confusing and frustrating process.