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December 14, 2021: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Quick Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 241 (down from 263) Currently positive-testing staff: 229 (up from 225) Recovered inmates: 41,864 (up from 41,817) Recovered staff: 8,612 (up from 8,599)


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

Waseca FCI: 65 (down from 90)

Alderson FPC: 37

Pollock FCI: 36 (down from 56)

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

Carswell FMC: 15 (up from 14)

Rochester FMC: 12 (unchanged)

La Tuna FCI: 8 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 134,908 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,926 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 126,775 (up from 126,360) Positive tests: 41,706 (up from 41,684)


Total vaccine doses administered: 269,778 (up from 269,357)


Case Note:


In U.S. v. DEANDRE ADARIAS JENKINS, 2021 WL 5861281 (4th Cir. Dec. 10, 2021) (unpublished) (per curium), the Fourth Circuit held that district court’s failure to discuss (1) non-retroactivity of alteration to circumstances that can trigger enhanced sentence in drug cases and (2) defendant's minimum security placement as part of § 3553(a) analysis warrants reversal, explaining: "Construing his informal appellate brief liberally, Jenkins asserts that the district court abused its discretion in failing to address a variety of arguments that he raised in support of the “extraordinary and compelling reasons” analysis and/or the § 3553(a) analysis in his case. With respect to the majority of these arguments, we conclude that the district court was not required to provide “a more robust and detailed explanation” for its discretionary decision, as the court's explanation is sufficient to permit meaningful appellate review. See High, 997 F.3d at 190 (internal quotation marks omitted). With respect to two arguments, however, we find the district court's explanation inadequate. First, Jenkins observed that the First Step Act, enacted three months after his sentencing, altered the circumstances triggering an enhanced statutory sentencing range applicable to drug offenses, like his, sentenced under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B). See First Step Act § 401(a), 132 Stat. at 5220-21. Jenkins argued that he would not now be eligible for the enhanced statutory mandatory minimum applied at his sentencing, as the prior offense on which the court predicated his enhancement does not qualify as the predicate “serious drug felony” now required to trigger that enhancement. The district court did not address this argument when considering whether Jenkins demonstrated extraordinary and compelling reasons for a reduction, instead focusing solely on Jenkins' medical condition and likelihood of contracting COVID-19 in conducting that analysis. Subsequent to the district court's decision, however, we upheld a district court's decision to credit a conceptually similar argument finding “extraordinary and compelling reasons” based on the significant disparity between sentences authorized under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) before and after enactment of the First Step Act. See McCoy, 981 F.3d at 285-86. Because the district court did not have the benefit of McCoy when it ruled on Jenkins' motion, and in light of the district court's exclusive focus on Jenkins' arguments regarding his medical conditions and related risk of contracting COVID-19, we are unable to determine from the present record whether the district court rejected this argument on its merits or because it believed that the considerations Jenkins raised could not contribute to “extraordinary and compelling reasons” supporting a sentence reduction. Second, Jenkins repeatedly emphasized his minimum security status and placement in a camp with no fence as evidence that he was unlikely to recidivate and posed little threat to society. The district court did not address these considerations when analyzing the § 3553(a) factors, instead relying heavily on the need to deter and to protect the public from Jenkins' future criminal conduct. On several occasions, the district court also stated that Jenkins was housed at “FCI Petersburg Low” without acknowledging Jenkins' minimum-security classification or camp placement. Thus, we are unable to determine from the district court's explanation whether it appropriately considered Jenkins' argument regarding his status and placement... 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 one new COVID-19 fatality, bringing total inmate fatalities to 272. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.






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