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January 17, 2024

New ID proposed in US for people released from prison

Credit: Biometric Update

A bipartisan group from the U.S. House of Representatives is pushing legislation that would make it mandatory to give all federal prisoners a new photo ID card upon release.

The card would comply with the REAL ID Act, but little else is known about the proposed card or the backing program. Bearing a photo of the holder, the card has biometrics relevance, but the bill says nothing about chips or a fully digital version.

The program’s stated aim would be to help released prisoners reintegrate with society and access relevant federal housing, food and health benefits. It also would help verify identity in court-imposed post-release programs including parole.

It also could be used to get a state ID or driver’s license. States issue those documents, making the release cards an additional form of ID. Some states are working on mobile drivers licenses.

The bill, called the Bureau of Prisons Release Card Act, was introduced earlier this month by Rep. David Trone, a Democrat from the state of Maryland.