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February 4, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 5,588 (down from 5,771) Currently positive-testing staff: 2,087 (up from 2,032) Recovered inmates: 50,104 (up from 49,813) Recovered staff: 10,033 (up from 9,091)


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

Oakdale FCI: 397 (down from 494)

Yazoo City Medium FCI: 277 (down from 342)

Yazoo City USP: 223 (down from 259)

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

El Reno FCI: 62 (up from 61)

Pollock USP: 62 (up from 60)

Central Office HQ: 56 (down from 58)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 134,742 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 11,668 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 129,264 (down from 129,349) Positive tests: 55,360 (up from 55,250)


Total vaccine doses administered: 292,819 (down from 292,229)


Case Note: Transfer to new facility doesn't require filing of new compassionate release request to satisfy 30-day waiting period...


In U.S. v. JILL ANDRAS LEBLANC, No. CR 17-139, 2022 WL 293246 (E.D. La. Feb. 1, 2022) (Africk, J.), the court rejects Government’s argument that a defendant's transfer away from the facility where she filed her letter to the warden seeking compassionate release to a different facility invalidates exhaustion, explaining: "The government contends that LeBlanc has not exhausted her administrative remedies because “[LeBlanc] has not presented an internal request for release to her warden at [FPC Bryan] to start the 30-day clock that must run before” LeBlanc can file a motion with the Court requesting compassionate release. Specifically, the government contends that “[LeBlanc] filed a request at her prior facility in Aliceville, Alabama, but not at Bryan.” … The Fifth Circuit reasoned that “Congress used clear language: all requests for compassionate release must be presented to the Bureau of Prisons before they are litigated in the federal courts.” Franco, 973 F.3d at 468. Further, the Fifth Circuit instructed that it is not “inclined to deviate from this clear text in pursuit of the statute's broader ‘purpose’ or ‘intent.’ […] When the text is clear, that is ‘the end of the construction.’ ” Id. (citing Hightower v. Tex. Hosp. Ass'n, 65 F.3d 433, 450 (5th Cir. 1995)). The government does not identify any authority holding that a defendant's transfer from one BOP facility to another invalidates a request for compassionate release that a defendant previously filed at a prior BOP facility. The emerging consensus among courts which have addressed this question is that a defendant's transfer between facilities does not nullify the defendant's exhaustion of administrative remedies when the defendant filed a request for compassionate release with the warden at a previous facility. See, e.g., United States v. Davidson, No. 16-139, 2020 WL 4877255, at *7 (W.D. Pa. Aug. 20, 2020) (“Mr. Davidson initiated the compassionate release process with the BOP by filing an administrative request for release with the warden of the facility at which he was then residing, and the BOP had more than thirty (30) days to consider that request. In that way, he followed the rules. Mr. Davidson's transfer in the interim does not change the fact that the BOP had the first crack at resolving the issue.”); United States v. Hamidu, No. 18-58, 2021 WL 2808721, at *2 (S.D. Ohio July 6, 2021) (collecting cases); United States v. Doan, No. 14-225, 2021 WL 4819317, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 15, 2021); United States v. Porter, No. 18-68, 2021 WL 5989142, at *2 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 17, 2021). The text of section 3582 requires only that 30 days lapse from the receipt of a request for compassionate release by the warden of the facility where the defendant is incarcerated. 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). The text imposes no additional requirement, such as the one the government seeks to insert, i.e., that LeBlanc must file a new request with the warden of her facility following a transfer by the BOP. Id. The government does not dispute that LeBlanc filed a request for compassionate release on October 26, 2020 at FCI Aliceville, and that the warden responded on March 12, 2021. A period of time well in excess of 30 days lapsed from LeBlanc's transmission of her request and the warden's response. LeBlanc's subsequent transfer to FPC Bryan does not alter the fact that she exhausted her administrative remedies pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Accordingly, the Court will consider the merits of LeBlanc's motion.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has announced no new COVID-related deaths, leaving total inmate fatalities at 284. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.


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