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January 17, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 90 BOP facilities and 10 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 162 (down from 167) Currently positive-testing staff: 263 (up from 254) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 46,779 (down from 46,804) Recovered staff: 14,808 (up from 14,801)


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

Butner Medium I FCI: 11

Memphis FCI: 10 (unchanged)

Ft. Dix FCI: 9


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

Central Office HQ: 60 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 16 (unchanged)

Brooklyn MDC: 15 (up from 13)


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 145,300 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,992 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,637 (up from 128,662) Positive tests: 55,285 (down from 55,310)


Total vaccine doses administered: 345,560 (up from 344,965)


Case Note: Defendant's Type II Diabetes is being properly treated by BOP and defendant's arguments regarding whether he is receiving appropriate diet should be addressed via a § 2241 petition; it is not extraordinary and compelling...


In U.S. v. Kindambu, No. 1:20-CR-260 (RDA), 2023 WL 159767 (E.D. Va. Jan. 11, 2023) (Alston Jr., J.), the court found that, although prison food is not conducive to defendant’s dietary needs occasioned by his type II diabetic status, this is not extraordinary and compelling because it could be raised in a § 2241 petition and the prison has tried to compensate via medication and so regardless of 2241 he’s not being denied medical treatment, explaining: "Defendant primarily focuses on the inadequate nutrition he has received at FCI Allenwood. See Dkt. 75 at 3-7 (describing his difficulties maintaining a diet suitable to manage his Type II Diabetes). From his representations, it does appear that he is undergoing numerous physical difficulties because of the unsuitable prison diet. It is particularly alarming that Defendant has at times had to resort to eating nothing at all to manage his blood pressure. Defendant has a remedy for his grievances about the nutritional offerings at FCI Allenwood—but it is not that his inadequate diet is an “extraordinary and compelling reason” justifying release under § 3582. The Supreme Court has held that “prison officials must ensure that inmates receive adequate food.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). And the Fourth Circuit, like many other circuits, has indicated that “this duty includes an obligation to provide a medically appropriate diet when necessary.” Scinto v. Stansberry, 841 F.3d 219, 233 (4th Cir. 2016) (citing cases from Sixth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits holding the same). This means that to comply with the Eighth Amendment, a prison must “provide some food that the ... prisoner is able to eat without compromising his health.” Id. at 233-34. But the requirements of the Eighth Amendment “are not applicable to the compassionate release analysis under Section 3582(c).” United States v. Hartley, Criminal No. 5:13-cr-46, 2020 WL 5550394, at *1 (W.D.N.C. Sep. 16, 2020) (collecting cases); see also United States v. Vo, Criminal No. 7:19-cr-18, 2020 WL 6273432, at *3 n.1 (W.D. Va. Oct. 26, 2020) (“[A] motion for compassionate release is not the appropriate vehicle for Eighth Amendment claims.”). The diet that Defendant is receiving at FCI Allenwood is not material to the issue that is currently before the Court. Rather, what matters is whether Defendant's chronic condition is being “properly treated[,]” or whether it is not being adequately treated and is thus “so severe as to provide an extraordinary and compelling reason for a reduction in ... sentence.” United States v. Chapman, Criminal No. 4:07-cr-22, 2021 WL 1896967, at *3 (E.D. Va. May 11, 2021). While the Court recognizes that indeed diet is part and parcel of Defendant's ability to manage his Type II Diabetes, he has also indicated that medical professionals at FCI Allenwood have prescribed him medication “to try and compensate” for the differences in his prison diet. Dkt 75 at 5. Additionally, Defendant has not shown that his Type II diabetes is not being “properly treated[,]” as his brief acknowledges the various measures that medical officials at FCI Allenwood have taken to manage his diabetes. Chapman, 2021 WL 1896967, at *3. Rather, his brief shows that, while the food at FCI Allenwood makes it more difficult for him to manage his diabetes and the associated symptoms, the medical professionals there have taken steps to adjust his medication. Accordingly, despite the difficulties Defendant has encountered in managing his Type II diabetes because of the diet at FCI Allenwood, his grievances about the nutritional offerings there are not relevant to the Court's analysis here.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) Today, the BOP announced the death, on December 15, 2022, of FCI Terminal Island inmate Wilmer Caronio, 59, raising the total number of inmate COVID-related deaths to 312. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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