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August 18, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 113 BOP facilities and 20 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 597 (down from 631) Currently positive-testing staff: 645 (up from 632) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 49,316 (unchanged) Recovered staff: 13,524 (up from 13,514)


Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

La Tuna FCI: 79 (down from 80)

Allenwood Low FCI: 63 (unchanged)

Terminal Island FCI: 45 (unchanged)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff:

Central Headquarters: 55 (unchanged)

Carswell FMC: 26 (unchanged)

Houston MDC: 22 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 141,250 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,796 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,723 (up from 128,722) Positive tests: 55,371 (up from 55,370)


Total vaccine doses administered: 327,550 (up from 327,341)


Case Note:


In U.S. v. GRACIELA POTENCIANO, 2022 WL 3364684 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2022) (Benitez, J.), the court held that defendant's need to care for ailing mother and three school aged children with special needs is sufficiently extraordinary and compelling to reduce defendant sentence, especially where defendant, for no apparent reason, would otherwise be transferred back to custody from home confinement, explaining: "Potenciano's motion for compassionate release is not based upon her own medical condition but upon the deteriorating medical condition of her aging mother and the need to care for her three school-age children, which have special needs. For the past 19 months, she has been living under a Bureau of Prisons program of home confinement to provide caretaking for both her 76-year old mother and her minor children. As he attorney reports:

For a year and a half, she devoted her time to caring for her children and mother. She has been required to report to the residential center at least once a week. She has been tested for substance and alcohol use every week. She continually provides a schedule that details when and for how long she will be outside of her house over every two-week period. As a mother of four who also cares for her mother, her times outside of the house are restricted to school and doctor appointments for her family. When she leaves her house, she must take a picture of herself and send to her counselor so that they can continue to track her.

Despite being monitored closely for 18 months, she did not have a single write up. On June 23, 2022, her counselor stated that Ms. Potenciano was doing well, “remains accountable and has not received any write ups. She is going to school and spends her free time taking care of her children and mother.”

However, counsel advises that Potenciano was asked to surrender herself to a Riverside halfway house and she is no longer home with her family, and that it is likely Potenciano will subsequently be placed back into a prison. Today, the children and the mother do not have a permanent caretaker. Potenciano does have an adult brother who is retired from the U.S. Navy. However, he sustained a work accident in Afghanistan and is wheelchair bound. He is willing but unable to provide more than temporary care for their mother or Defendant's minor children. … The existing policy statement says that “if the defendant's family circumstances include the ‘death or incapacitation of the caregiver of the defendant's minor child or minor children,’ ” the circumstances are extraordinary and compelling. U.S.S.G. §§ 1B1.13(1)(A), (C). That is precisely Potenciano's family situation. Potenciano's family circumstances are more extraordinary in that her parent also needs a caregiver. … Defendant's family circumstances are extraordinary and compelling. That conclusion, however, does not end the matter. There are other considerations, including the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. … At this time, Potenciano has served more than 74 months of her sentence. This is a substantial amount of punishment and it is more than 80% of the expected custody time. Perhaps just as importantly, during her time in prison, Potenciano has had an exemplary disciplinary record. The § 3553(a) factors favour reducing her sentence to time served.”)


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified the other two of the previously unidentified four inmate COVID fatalities noted Tuesday on the BOP Website, both of whom died more than a year ago but whose deaths and identities were not timely acknowledged, as Glen Sheffield, 36, of FCI Hazelton, who died July 24, 2021, and Gary Charles Tanner Jr., 44, of FCI Terminal Island, who died January 5, 2021. The total number COVID-related inmate deaths remains at 306. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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