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January 3, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Quick Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 1,516 (up from 1,194) Currently positive-testing staff: 511 (up from 420) Recovered inmates: 41,665 (up from 41,659) Recovered staff: 8,738 (up from 8,725)


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

Brooklyn MDC: 200 (up from 144)

Chicago MCC: 147 (up from 144)

Carswell FMC: 112 (up from 110)

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

Carswell FMC: 23 (up from 22)

Fairton FCI: 19 (up from 15)

Central Office HQ: 15 (up from 11)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 135,271 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,873 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 127,843 (up from 127,678) Positive tests: 42,791 (up from 42,461)


Total vaccine doses administered: 278,259 (up from 277,519)


Case Note: Defendant, 66, with medical conditions including type II diabetes, vision loss, hypertension, and high cholesterol granted compassionate release....


In U.S. v. DANFI GONZALEZ IGUARAN, Defendant., No. 1:12-CR-20858, 2021 WL 6197747 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 31, 2021) (Gayles), the court granted compassionate release to a defendant suffering from numerous medical conditions including type II diabetes, vision loss, hypertension, and high cholesterol, explaining: "Defendant is a 66-year-old1 man incarcerated at the CI Reeves III correctional institution in Pecos, Texas, with a projected release date of July 26, 2028. On July 31, 2015, this Court sentenced Defendant to a 210-month term of imprisonment... for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States... Defendant subsequently filed the instant Motion seeking compassionate release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Defendant alleges that extraordinary and compelling circumstances warrant his release because the recent COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with his age and health conditions, place him at a high risk of serious illness or death should he contract COVID-19. It is undisputed that Defendant's medical conditions include type II diabetes, vision loss, hypertension, and high cholesterol. LEGAL STANDARD [I] n order to grant the Motion, the Court must make specific findings that: (1) the § 3553(a) factors support Defendant's compassionate release; (2) extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant Defendant's request; and (3) Defendant is not a danger to the safety of other persons or the community. The burden lies with Defendant to establish that his request is warranted.... DISCUSSION... I. Section 3553(a) Factors and Danger to the Community Section 3553(a) requires a court to “impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary....” 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). The Court must consider: (1) “the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;” (2) “the need for the sentence imposed” to “reflect the seriousness of the offense,” “afford adequate deterrence,” and “protect the public;” (3) “the kinds of sentences available;” (4) “the sentencing range;” (5) “any pertinent policy statement;” (6) “the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities;” and (7) “the need to provide restitution to any victims....” Id. The Court must also determine whether Defendant poses “a danger to the safety of any other person or to the community....” U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 1B1.13(2). In so doing, the Court considers: (1) “the nature and circumstances of the offense charged;” (2) “the weight of the evidence against” Defendant; (3) “the history and characteristics of” Defendant; and (4) “the nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by [Defendant's] release.” See 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g). The Court finds that Defendant is not a danger to the community and the § 3553(a) factors support Defendant's release.... While the Court does not undermine the seriousness of Defendant's crime, it notes that it was a non-violent offense. Significantly, prior to this conviction, Defendant had no criminal history. See [ECF No. 57 at 7–8]. The Court also recognizes Defendant's commitment to rehabilitation during his eight years of incarceration: he earned his GED, completed course work on parenting and substance abuse, and has only had one disciplinary infraction.... Defendant has served almost 50% of his sentence. Requiring Defendant to serve the remaining years of his imprisonment while COVID-19 threatens his health would exceed the sentence necessary to “reflect the seriousness of the offense” and “promote a respect for the law . ...” See § 3553(a)(2)(A). Rather, reducing Defendant's sentence to time served is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary....” 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Thus, the Court turns to whether Defendant presents extraordinary and compelling reasons for his release. II. Extraordinary and Compelling Reasons Though undefined in 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i), extraordinary and compelling reasons under the Sentencing Guidelines include: (A) Medical Conditions of the Defendant.

(ii) The defendant is-- (I) suffering from a serious physical or medical condition, (II) suffering from a serious functional or cognitive impairment, or (III) experiencing deteriorating physical or mental health because of the aging process, that substantially diminishes the ability of the defendant to provide self-care within the environment of a correctional facility and from which he or she is not expected to recover.

U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 1B1.13 cmt. n.1. In response to the recent pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) delineated several conditions and risk factors that increase the risk of contracting COVID-19. See People with Certain Medical Conditions, Ctrs. for Disease Control & Prevention (Dec. 14, 2021), https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html (last visited Dec. 30, 2021). These conditions include type II diabetes and heart conditions, such as hypertension.3 Id. And “[m]ore than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65.” Id. The Court has reviewed the relevant reports and medical records and is fully advised as to Defendant's health status. It is undisputed that Defendant, a 66-year-old, suffers from high-risk conditions, including type II diabetes and hypertension. Courts have granted compassionate release requests based on COVID-19 for individuals under similar circumstances. See United States v. Pitts, No. 16-CR-20050, 2021 WL 796271, at *4 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 2, 2021) (collecting cases). The Government points out that Defendant is currently being treated for his medical conditions, see [ECF No. 142 at 11–12], but “that fact alone does not establish that Defendant is able to provide adequate self-care given the combination of Defendant's multiple CDC-confirmed COVID-19 risk factors and the considerable risk of infection” among those who are incarcerated during the pandemic. Camacho-Duque, 2020 WL 5951340, at *6 (finding defendant's hypertension, obesity, and diabetes diminished her ability to provide self-care while incarcerated during the pandemic). Defendant's age, coupled with his underlying medical conditions, increases his risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. Accordingly, the Court finds that Defendant's medical conditions, in light of the current pandemic, are extraordinary and compelling reasons for his immediate release...

Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified inmate Gregory Ziglar, 62, of USP Lewisburg as the 274 COVID-related inmate fatality. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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