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August 30, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 115 BOP facilities and 16 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 490 (up from 479) Currently positive-testing staff: 640 (up from 636) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 49,305 (unchanged) Recovered staff: 13,630 (up from 13,629)


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

Schuylkill FCI: 53 (unchanged)

Canaan USP: 39 (unchanged)

Big Spring FCI: 23 (unchanged)

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

Central Office HQ: 58 (unchanged)

Carswell FMC: 28 (unchanged)

Brooklyn MDC: 23 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 141,769 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,785 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,721 (up from 128,718) Positive tests: 55,369 (down from 55,366)


Total vaccine doses administered: 328,528 (up from 328,524)


Case Note: Two year sentence reduction for COVID + rehab...


In U.S. v. MICHAEL A. JONES, 2022 WL 3702087 (E.D. Va. Aug. 26, 2022) (Gibney, J.), the court reduced defendant's sentence from 204 to 180 months, to account for conditions of confinement during COVID and defendant’s rehabilitation, explaining: "Although the Court finds that Jones fails to demonstrate a particularized risk of contracting COVID-19 at FCI Oakton I, the Court need not consider Jones's pleas for relief in isolation. To the contrary, the Fourth Circuit has admonished district courts to consider the totality of a defendant's claims and perform a holistic assessment of the arguments he raises in light of his record of post-sentencing conduct. United States v. Hargrove, 30 F.4th 189, 198 (4th Cir. 2022) … When reviewing the record as a whole, the Court finds that Jones's case warrants relief. …The Court sentenced Jones in 2012, many years before the COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally restructured everyday prison life for thousands of men and women in BOP custody. Accordingly, although the Court considered the many hardships attendant to incarceration when it sentenced Jones, it did not, and could not, have accounted for the effect of the pandemic on his sentence. This change in circumstances is particularly salient in cases like Jones's, where a defendant suffers from severe medical conditions, because incarceration largely strips inmates of the ability to made health-related decisions for themselves. A closer examination of Jones's post-sentencing record reveals that between 2012 and 2020 Jones completed approximately thirty-seven education courses and programs, plus a drug education class. (SeeECF No. 67-1.) The government seizes upon the fact that such classes vanished from Jones's record in recent years. (ECF No. 70, at 4.) But Jones explains that prison lockdowns have rendered him unable “to complete his classes.” (ECF No. 62, at 24.) Further, Jones has not sat idle during the past year; despite the unavailability of many rehabilitative programs, Jones now works as an Orderly. (ECF No. 66, at 1.) Further, during his almost-ten years in prison, Jones has received just one incident report. The Court finds that Jones's advanced susceptibly to serious illness or death from COVID-19 and the manifest impact of the pandemic on Jones's confinement, combined with Jones's non-violent criminal record, the extreme length of his sentence, and his impressive and well-documented record of rehabilitative and educational efforts amount to an extraordinary and compelling reason for relief. Because Jones establishes an extraordinary and compelling reason for relief, the Court next turns to whether the § 3553(a) factors support his release. … The Court sentenced Jones to seventeen years in prison—a long term of incarceration by any standard. And although possession of a weapon following a felony conviction is certainly a serious offense, the Court notes that Jones's crime did not involve violence. …Compassionate release does not grant this Court a free license to examine and undermine the wisdom of Congress's imposition of such harsh punishments on repeat offenders like Jones. But, “[w]hen Congress authorized district courts, as a matter of discretion, to release an inmate from prison based on extraordinary and compelling reasons, it did so to introduce compassion as a factor in assessing ongoing terms of imprisonment.” Hargrove, 30 F.4th at 197. Thus, this Court must carefully “balance the severity of [Jones's] personal circumstances, on the one hand, against the needs for incarceration, on the other.” … Upon due consideration, the Court finds that a sentence of fifteen years' imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release is sufficient to afford adequate deterrence to Jones and other similarly situated defendants, to protect the public, and to accomplish the other goals of sentencing. See18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(A).”


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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