Report: Unclear prisoner release standards

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's inspector general says the U.S. Bureau of Prisons lacks clear standards on when to grant compassionate release to inmates with terminal illnesses and limited life expectancies.

The investigator's office found that in a study of 206 such requests from 2006 through 2011, the director of federal prisons approved 142 releases and denied 36. In 28 cases, the inmates died before a decision was made.

The office concluded the compassionate release program is poorly managed and has likely resulted in potentially eligible inmates not being considered for release.