About the Office

For over 125 years, the President has relied on the Department of Justice, and particularly the Office of the Pardon Attorney, for assistance in the exercise of the executive clemency power granted to the President by Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, the President’s clemency power extends only to federal criminal offenses. Executive clemency may take several forms, including pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of fine or restitution, or reprieve. All requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Pardon Attorney for review, investigation, and preparation of the Department’s recommendation to the President, which is signed by the Deputy Attorney General, for the final dispositions of each application. The Office of the Pardon Attorney also prepares the documents the President signs when granting executive clemency and notifies all applicants of the President’s clemency decisions.

PARDON Modified Operations

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, The Office of the Pardon Attorney (PARDON) is operating under the following conditions:

OFFICE VISITS/DELIVERY: This office has never allowed visitors or hand deliveries, so there is no change to our office visit or delivery policy.  Executive clemency is a written process, so all information and document transmissions should continue to be submitted in writing, preferably by email to USPardon.Attorney@usdoj.gov.  Physical mail will continue to be accepted and processed, but you may experience delays in receiving a response.

INMATES AFFECTED BY COVID-19: The Office of the Pardon Attorney has no involvement with inmate movement outside of presidential sentence reductions.  If you, a friend, or a loved one is in Federal (BOP) custody and adversely affected by COVID-19, please direct your questions, comments, or inquiry to the Bureau of Prisons because this office has no jurisdiction over movements or prisoner safety. 

OFFICIAL STAFF TRAVEL: This office has very limited travel, but all official travel has been suspended indefinitely.

MODIFIED OPERATIONS: PARDON has implementing modified operations to maximize social distancing in accordance with CDC.gov and Coronavirus.gov guidance. Such actions include maximum telework and maximum work flexibility, which has not altered our commitment or ability to accomplish the mission of supporting the Department and the President on executive clemency matters.

Updated April 29, 2020

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