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January 6, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Quick Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 2,886 (up from 2,386) Currently positive-testing staff: 790 (up from 657) Recovered inmates: 41,936 (up from 41,875) Recovered staff: 8,829 (up from 8,794)


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

Brooklyn MDC: 255 (up from 232)

Carswell FMC: 150 (up from 134)

Lexington FMC: 114 (up from 112)

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

Fairton FCI: 28 (up from 26)

Carswell FMC: 26 (up from 24)

Pollock USP: 24 (up from 22)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 135,380 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,818 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,345 (up from 128,112) Positive tests: 44,429 (up from 43,327)


Total vaccine doses administered: 280,722 (up from 279,641)


Case Note: District court's lack of clarity in denying compassionate release motion requires remand...


In U.S. v. CHRISTOPHER PATTERSON, 2022 WL 41797 (11th Cir. Jan. 5, 2022) (per curium), the Eleventh Circuit found that the district court’s failure to acknowledge the government’s concession or otherwise explain its reasons for denying defendant's motion for compassionate release requires vacatur and remand, explaining: " In April 2020, Patterson filed a pro se motion for compassionate release, arguing that early release was warranted because he suffered from asthma and other chronic respiratory issues that put him at increased risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. The government opposed the motion, and the district court ultimately denied the motion, concluding that Patterson had failed to demonstrate extraordinary or compelling circumstances. … Several months later, Patterson, through counsel, filed a renewed motion for compassionate release. In addition to respiratory issues, Patterson asserted that he had been diagnosed with hypertension and suffered from obesity, which were additional risk factors for serious illness or death from COVID-19. He maintained that the § 3553(a) factors supported his request. In response, the government took “the position that [obesity] constitutes an extraordinary and compelling reason,” but nevertheless argued that Patterson's motion should be denied based on his “relatively young age,” his overall health, his criminal history, his offense conduct, the length of his sentence, and other § 3553(a) factors. Following Patterson's reply, the district court denied the motion stating as follows: “The [c]ourt has carefully reviewed the Motion, the Government's Opposition, and is otherwise fully advised of the premises. The [c]ourt finds no reason to disturb its prior determination that a release is not warranted pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A).” … Here, although the district court stated that it saw “no reason to disturb its prior determination that a release is not warranted pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A),” it did not explain its reasoning. We have no way of knowing whether the district court's determination was based on the same ground as before—that Patterson's medical conditions were not “extraordinary and compelling reasons”—or whether it accepted the government's concession that such reasons were present but determined that Patterson nevertheless failed to meet one of the other two necessary conditions for granting relief. Because the district court's order does not provide sufficient explanation of its determination, we cannot conduct meaningful appellate review and we must vacate and remand. Stevens, 997 F.3d at 1317.”)


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified inmate Lee Cormier, 74, of FCI Beaumont Low as the 275 Covid-related inmate fatality. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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