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BOP COVID-19 UPDATE -- March 17, 2021

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Quick Facts:

Currently positive-testing inmates: 494 (down from 501)

Currently positive-testing staff: 1,369 (down from 1,391)

Recovered inmates: 47,148 (down(?) from 47,173)

Recovered staff: 5,274 (up from 5,246)

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

Beaumont USP: 52 (unchanged)

Florence (High) USP: 46 (unchanged)

Florence FCI: 32 (up from 31)

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

Pollock USP: 84 (unchanged)

Tucson USP: 69 (unchanged)

Talladega FCI: 46 (unchanged)

(the above numbers have barely changed in more than two weeks and therefore are deemed unreliable)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 125,301 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,623 in community-based facilities. Today's stats:

Completed tests: 107,335 (up from 107,228)

Positive tests: 46,829 (up from 46,861)

Case Note: That was then, this is now...

In U.S. v. NG LAP SENG, 2021 WL 961749 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 15, 2021) (Broderick, J.), the court reconsidered its previous denial of compassionate release and granted release, recognizing that defendant would be transferred to ICE custody for deportation: "I determined that Defendant failed to “establish[ ] that there exist extraordinary and compelling reasons to reduce his sentence” for the following reasons: “(1) Ng intend[ed] to live with other individuals in his apartment [in New York City] upon leaving prison; (2) there [had] been no reported COVID-19 cases in FCI Allenwood Low, (3) the low levels of community spread and death in Union County, the county where FCI Allenwood Low is located; (4) the low levels of community spread and death in counties surrounding Union County; and (5) the high levels of community spread and death in New York County and in New York City.” Defendant's instant motion succeeds where his previous motion failed because these factors that weighed against Defendant's request have, in large part or entirely, abated in the past several months. First, from a public health perspective, Defendant's destination upon release will be much safer now than it was in May 2020.… Defendant no longer requests that I release him to his home in New York City, where he had planned to live in his apartment with multiple other people, see id. at 542–43, but rather “order his immediate release to ICE custody,” after which he would be removed to China, (Doc. 782), and soon after reside in Macau, “where there is minimal exposure to COVID-19,” … Second, the risk to Defendant from contracting COVID-19 at FCI Allenwood Low has increased, and the level of the virus in Union County has also increased from the levels in May 2020. At the time of my previous order, FCI Allenwood Low had no reported COVID cases either among prisoners or staff, and Defendant argued only that the Federal Bureau of Prison's (“BOP”) plan to combat COVID-19 was ineffective. Ng Lap Seng, 459 F. Supp. at 541–42. As of this writing, the facility has three reported active COVID-19 cases among its incarcerated population and none among staff. COVID-19 Coronavirus, COVID-19 Cases, Federal Bureau of Prisons (last visited Mar. 10, 2021), However, the facility has reported that 287 prisoners and 19 staff members have recovered from COVID-19, meaning that the facility has had, at minimum, more than 300 cases of COVID-19 at some point in the past. … While the Government is correct that the facility's outbreak went down relatively quickly, it does not present empirical evidence as to why that reduction occurred other than to attribute it to isolating infected prisoners, see (Doc. 981, at 2), and it is also true that cases shot up very quickly in the first place. …. The Government notes that BOP has begun vaccinating federal prisoners, including those at Defendant's facility, (Doc. 981, at 3), but does not provide any timeline for when, or if, Defendant might be vaccinated or whether or not his vaccination might be delayed because of his immigration status. … Given that Defendant will be removed from the United States upon his release, he presents virtually no risk to the United States and thus there is no need “to protect the public from further crimes” or “to afford adequate deterrence to [future] criminal conduct.” 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(B–C). Older offenders, like, Defendant, are also “substantially less likely than younger offenders to recidivate following release.” … also note that “the pandemic, aside from posing a threat to [Ng's] health, has made [his] incarceration harsher and more punitive than would otherwise have been the case.” United States v. Rodriguez, No. 00 CR. 761-2 (JSR), 2020 WL 5810161, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2020).”)

Death Watch: The BOP reports no new deaths. Inmate deaths remain at 225. Four of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff fatalities remain at 4.

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