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February 21, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 67 BOP facilities and 6 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 240 (up from 213) Currently positive-testing staff: 51 (down from 63) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 45,675 (down from 45,765) Recovered staff: 15,158 (up from 15,142)


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

Carswell FMC: 45 (up from 32)

Allenwood Low FCI: 18

Fort Dix FCI: 15 (down from 19)


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

Carswell FMC: 8 (up from 7)

Devens FMC: 5 (down from 11)

Terminal Island FCI: 5


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 144,675 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,621 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,648 (down from 128,652) Positive tests: 55,297 (down from 55,300)


Total vaccine doses administered: 347,962 (up from 347,916)


Case Note: Defendant, who served substantial portion of 17-year(!) § 922(g) firearms sentence granted compassionate release in light of length of service, rehabilitation, and non-violent nature of priors...


In U.S. v. Salliey, No. CR RDB-10-0298, 2023 WL 1970491 (D. Md. Feb. 13, 2023) (Bennett, J.), the court held that the length of time defendant served combined with his rehabilitation was extraordinary and compelling, which court finds tilts the § 3553(a) factors in his favor, particularly since his ACCA enhancement was based on old crimes which didn’t reflect violence, explaining: "Nevertheless, this Court concludes that the length of Salliey's sentence, the substantial time he has already served, and his strong evidence of rehabilitation are collectively sufficient. Salliey was sentenced to a term of 204 months, or seventeen years, for possession of a firearm. (See Judgment 2.) The record reflects that he has already served a substantial portion of that sentence, and that he is scheduled to be released in just over two years. (See Gov't's Resp. 2.) During his incarceration, Salliey has received his GED, and completed several self-betterment courses and vocational training programs, providing strong evidence of rehabilitation. (See Certificates of Completion, ECF No. 74-1.) Taken together and evaluated holistically, these factors are sufficiently “extraordinary and compelling” to justify considering Salliey's request for compassionate release. See, e.g., United States v. Jenkins, No. DKC 12-0043, 2021 WL 5140198, at *4 (D. Md. Nov. 4, 2021) (concluding that lengthy sentence and rehabilitation supported sentence reduction in light of national trends favoring lenient interpretation of career offender provisions); United States v. Ramsay, 538 F. Supp. 3d 407, 425–26 (S.D.N.Y. 2021) (finding “compelling evidence of rehabilitation” and “the mandatory nature of the sentence” sufficient to consider compassionate release motion). Accordingly, this motion will turn on this Court's application of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors. … Salliey's personal history and characteristics are somewhat equivocal. His current sentence is the product of his designation as an armed career criminal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), as agreed by the parties and stipulated in Salliey's Plea Agreement. (See Plea Ag't ¶ 6(b).) This sentence enhancement was the result of four prior state felony convictions related to the manufacture and distribution of controlled substances. (Id.) This record could suggest that Salliey is prone to recidivism, heightening the imperative of a sentence that will promote respect for the law and deter criminal conduct. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(3). However, “[w]hile serious, his offense was by no means as dangerous as some, and his criminal history was not as troubling as many that qualify for ACCA treatment.” Jenkins, 2021 WL 5140198, at *4. Although Salliey's instant offense involved possession of a firearm, the record reflects that he has not engaged in violent crime. Additionally, Salliey's ACCA predicate offenses were committed between 1995 and 2003, when he was in his early twenties. (See Plea Ag't ¶ 6(b).) He is now more than forty-eight years old. (See Def.’s Mot. 3–4, 34; Gov't's Resp. 6.) Salliey's relatively young age at the time of his prior offenses and his entirely nonviolent record reduce the weight of his criminal history, suggesting that a prolonged sentence may not be necessary to protect the public. Salliey's evidence of post-sentencing rehabilitation underscores this determination, and weighs heavily in favor of compassionate release. See Pepper v. United States, 562 U.S. 476, 491 (2011) (holding that “evidence of postsentencing rehabilitation may plainly be relevant to ‘the history and characteristics of the defendant’ ” and “ ‘the need for the sentence imposed’ ” (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a))). … Finally, this Court finds that the length of Salliey's sentence is unnecessary to serve the interests of deterrence and public safety, and disproportionate to similarly-situated offenders. Salliey pled guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), and received a 204-month sentence for this offense. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the average sentence for defendants convicted of a Section 922(g) violation is only 58 months. U.S. SENTENCING COMM'N, QUICK FACTS, https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/quick-facts/Felon_In_Possession_FY19.pdf. Although Salliey's sentence is the result of an agreed-upon career offender enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, the national headwinds have begun to trend away from harsh ACCA sentences. See Jenkins, 2021 WL 5140198, at *4 (observing that “while the ACCA statute has not changed, the interpretation of it has,” as “prosecutors and courts have taken a more lenient stance on its interpretation”). Accordingly, Salliey's sentence may be disproportionate to what a similarly-situated offender would likely have received today. Finally, as Salliey has “served a very significant portion of the initial sentence and ... has made good use of the available resources in prison,” id., this Court is confident that the interests in just punishment, respect for the law, and rehabilitation have already been served.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) Today, the BOP announced no new COVID-related deaths, leaving the total number of inmate COVID-related deaths at 312. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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