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BOP COVID-19 UPDATE -- June 14, 2021

Quick Facts: Currently positive-testing inmates: 100 (up from 99) Currently positive-testing staff: 132 (unchanged) Recovered inmates: 44,847 (down from 44,890) Recovered staff: 6,854 (up from 6,853) Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates: Sheridan FCI: 33 (up from 32)

Coleman II USP: 16 (unchanged)

Bennettsville FCI: 11 (unchanged)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff: Pekin FCI: 9 (unchanged)

Big Sandy USP: 7 (up from 6) Central Office HQ: 6 (unchanged) System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 129,354 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,817 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 115,153 (up from 115,020) Positive tests: 44,315 (down from 44,355)

Case Note: Biker given break based on COVID, multiple health problems, poor prison medical treatment and sentencing disparity...

In U.S. v. GARY BALL, JR., 2021 WL 2351088 (E.D. Mich. June 9, 2021) (Edmunds, J.), defendant, an outlaw motorcycle leader, convicted at trial of RICO and larceny offenses and sentenced to thirty years, had multiple medical problems and was "diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection in the first few months of the pandemic and alleged he was given sub-standard medical care. He states he struggled to breathe and suffered from other severe symptoms but was not tested, isolated, or given any treatment for weeks after first reporting his symptoms to the BOP. Though he has recovered, he continues to have long-term effects of the disease and fears re-infection despite having received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. He asks the Court to reduce his term of imprisonment to time-served, as it did with Moore. … Defendant paints a grim picture of his first bout with the disease and the Court is not satisfied that he would not suffer the same fate or worse if he were to be re-infected. Defendant indicates that he became severely ill on or about April 5, 2020. He had trouble breathing, lost all sense of taste and smell, had chills, headaches, body aches, and mental confusion. Despite these symptoms, Defendant claims he was ignored by FCI Elkton medical staff and told to send an email to the facility's health services department. Defendant sent many emails to both health services and eventually, the warden, asking and then begging for medical attention. Despite his requests and the growing number of inmates with symptoms of COVID-19, Defendant was not seen by medical personnel until weeks later when he was finally tested and received a positive result. With limited resources and the prison on lockdown, Defendant states that he and many others were forced to care and be cared for by their fellow inmates to the best of their abilities. Defendant attaches to his motion a statement from one inmate in particular who describes his attempts to care for Defendant and treat his severe respiratory symptoms by dissolving cough drops in hot water and encouraging Defendant to breathe the vapors. And FCI Elkton, where Defendant is currently being held, has been one of the least successful prisons in the fight against COVID-19. See Jones, 980 F.3d at 1101 n.2 (citing Wilson v. Williams, No. 4:20-CV-00794, 2020 WL 2542131, at *3 (N.D. Ohio May 19, 2020). … Defendant's vaccination status also does not work against him. If anything, his choice to receive the vaccine shows that he is genuinely concerned for his health and safety. The COVID-19 vaccine, though largely successful at preventing severe illness, is by no means 100% effective and the longevity of any immunity from either the vaccine or Defendant's previous illness is uncertain. … Additionally, the Court finds the disparity between Defendant's sentence of 30-years and the 20-year amended sentence of his co-defendant Nagi to be an extraordinary and compelling reason to reduce Defendant's sentence under § 3582(c)(1)(A). As discussed above, Nagi and Defendant were convicted of almost identical charges with the exception of Defendant's additional drug charge and Nagi's two convictions for using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering. The Court compared Defendant's crimes to Nagi's at Defendant's original sentencing. Based in part upon this comparison, Defendant was sentenced to 30 years in prison – seven years less than Nagi's sentence. It was only because of a change in the law regarding the burden of proof on Nagi's firearm charge that Nagi was ultimately able to be re-sentenced to a new term of incarceration of 20 years. Requiring Defendant to now serve 10 additional years in prison, a total of 30 years, because he was not convicted of using a firearm during a crime of violence and therefore was not eligible for re-sentencing would be unjust. … Indeed, if Defendant were made to serve his entire term of 30 years, he would be made to serve more time than both Nagi and the “godfather” of HMC, Moore, who was compassionately released after having served only ten years.”

Death Watch: The BOP has announced no new fatalities. The inmate death toll remains at 238. Five of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff fatalities remain at 4.

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