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July 1, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 444 (up from 370) Currently positive-testing staff: 356 (down from 364) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 50,141 (down from 50,265) Recovered staff: 13,038 (up from 13,028)


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

SeaTac FDC: 165 (up from 140)

Marianna FCI: 44 (up from 41)

Phoenix FCI: 39

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

Central Headquarters: 40 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 16 (unchanged)

Honolulu FDC: 16 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 140,237 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,861 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,711 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,359 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 322, 923 (up from 322,606)


Case Note: Maybe BOP is undercounting inmate infections but everyone does, and defendant's claimed inability to get a booster is not an extraordinary circumstance...


In U.S. v. JOHNNY BEASON, 2022 WL 2340699 (D.D.C. June 29, 2022) (McFadden, J.), the court found that, even if the BOP is undercounting COVID infections, so is everyone else, and even if BOP denied petitioner a booster, no matter because two vaccinations, per BOP, is fully vaccinated, explaining: "Beason claims that FCI Fort Dix is likely undercounting its positive case rate because it allegedly does not perform surveillance testing nor does it test vaccinated individuals. See Reply at 3–4. Perhaps so. But COVID cases are likely undercounted outside of prison, too. See, e.g., Carey Goldberg, Just How Wildly Are Covid Cases Undercounted?, Bloomberg (June 4, 2022), https://bloom.bg/3QXEKcP (stating that COVID-19 cases in New York City could be 31 times higher than the official count). Beason presents no evidence that the undercounting inside prison is worse than elsewhere. Beason also claims that the Bureau of Prisons has sometimes revised its COVID-19 statistics. See Reply at 4. In one instance, he says that the Bureau “magically” made four staff deaths disappear. Id. But Beason points to no coverup or malpractice by the Bureau. Its correction may have been merely to reverse a clerical error, or the staff deaths may have been initially incorrectly attributed to COVID-19. Without more, this is not a justification for compassionate release. … Finally, the Court notes that Beason is fully vaccinated. See Mot. at 12. He refused a booster shot but claims he did so because the prison offered it to him four months after his second dose. Reply at 4. He points out that the CDC recommends most individuals wait five months before receiving another shot. Id. at 4–5. He says he has since requested the booster but has yet to receive it. Id. at 5. Although the Court is concerned that Beason has not yet been able to receive a booster, his lack of a booster is not an “extraordinary or compelling” reason for his compassionate release. There is no evidence that Beason requested a booster a year ago—when the five months elapsed—rather than very recently. More, the Bureau of Prisons states that “[v]accine doses are available at [every federal prison] for newly admitted and existing inmates” and that “[i]nmates have also been offered booster shots in accordance with CDC guidance.” Bureau of Prisons, COVID-19: Coronavirus (last visited June 23, 2022) (emphasis added). Beason's claim would fare better if he could establish that the prison had improperly denied him a booster shot or cannot administer one to him. See, e.g., United States v. Broadfield, 5 F.4th 801, 803 (7th Cir. 2021) (stating “vaccines offer relief far more effective than a judicial order” but recognizing that inmates unable to receive a vaccine have more meritorious claims for compassionate release than most). But Beason has not shown that. And even though a booster would better protect him against severe illness from COVID-19, Bureau of Prison guidelines still consider him “fully vaccinated.See Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Bureau of Prisons Clinical Guidance: COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance at 1 (February 25, 2022). Thus, Beason's lack of a booster shot does not qualify as an extraordinary and compelling reason for his release.”)


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified no additional COVID-related inmate deaths, leaving the inmate death toll at 299. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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