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August 23, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 114 BOP facilities and 12 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 496 (up from 490) Currently positive-testing staff: 647 (down from 648) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 49,325 (down from 49,329) Recovered staff: 13,565 (up from 13,559)


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

Oakdale FCI: 48 (unchanged)

Allenwood Low FCI: 30 (unchanged)

SeaTac FDC: 27 (unchanged)

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

Central Office JQ: 56 (unchanged)

Carswell FMC: 27 (unchanged)

Houston MDC: 23 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 141,526 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,871 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,717 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,365 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 327,923 (up from 327,918)


Case Note:


In U.S. v. Williams, No. 21-7124, 2022 WL 3543326 (4th Cir. Aug. 18, 2022) (unpublished) (per curium), the Fourth Circuit remanded the denial of compassionate release where the district court's terse analysis was insufficient for appellate review given the significant post-conviction mitigation, explaining: "On appeal, he asserts that the district court erred by failing to consider his medical conditions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and by failing to properly analyze the applicable sentencing factors. We vacate and remand for further proceedings. …Here, the district court provided the following explanation for denying Williams’ motion for compassionate release:

The nature and circumstances of the offense are quite serious. Further, the defendant has a lengthy criminal history, including several robbery convictions. These factors manifest a need to protect the public. The [BOP] is presently mitigating the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Finally, due to the defendant's age and BOP's management of defendant's medical conditions, the [c]ourt is satisfied that the conditions of confinement do not mandate the relief sought by the defendant.

Although there is no “categorical ... requirement” that a district court explicitly address each of the defendant's arguments in support of his compassionate release motion, High, 997 F.3d at 187, a court's explanation must “allow for meaningful appellate review” in light of the particular circumstances of the case, id. at 188 (internal quotation marks omitted); see Chavez-Meza v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 1959, 1965 (2018) (explaining that “[j]ust how much of an explanation [is] require[d] ... depends ... upon the circumstances of the particular case”). When a case is “relative[ly] simpl[e],” this requirement is satisfied if the order denying relief shows that “the district court was aware of the arguments, considered the relevant sentencing factors, and had an intuitive reason” for denying the motion. High, 997 F.3d at 191 (cleaned up); see Concepcion v. United States, 142 S. Ct. 2389, 2404-05 (2022). However, when a defendant “present[s] a ‘significant amount of post-sentencing mitigation evidence,’ ... ‘a more robust and detailed explanation’ [is] required.” Id. at 190 (alterations omitted and quoting United States v. Martin, 916 F.3d 389, 396 (4th Cir. 2019)). Here, we cannot discern whether the district court adequately considered Williams’ arguments related to the dangers he faced as a result of his medical conditions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We similarly cannot discern whether the district court considered the evidence of Williams’ rehabilitation over his six years of incarceration. Although it is “significant” that the judge who denied Williams’ compassionate release motion was the same judge who originally sentenced him, see High, 997 F.3d at 189, we nevertheless conclude that the evidence Williams submitted of his rehabilitation—which included a clean disciplinary record, drug abuse treatment, a variety of prison courses, and a correspondence course for becoming a certified legal assistant or paralegal upon his release—was sufficient to warrant a more robust explanation from the court. See Martin, 916 F.3d at 396-97 (finding that recitation of original criminal behavior is insufficient when no weight is given to “the multitude of redemptive measures” taken by prisoner).

Accordingly, we vacate the district court's order and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified no new COVID-related fatalities. 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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