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July 28, 2021: BOP COVID-19 and COMPASSIONATE RELEASE UPDATE


Quick Facts: Currently positive-testing inmates: 225 (up from 216) Currently positive-testing staff: 135 (down from 152) Recovered inmates: 43,190 (down from 43,247) Recovered staff: 7,009 (up from 6,981) Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Texarcana FCI: 61 (up from 60)

McCreary USP: 28 (unchanged)

Houston FDC: 26 (up from 25)

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

Pollock: 9 (down from 11)

Brooklyn MDC: 5 (unchanged)

Coleman I USP: 5 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 130,484 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,211 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 118,206 (up from 118,158) Positive tests: 42,854 (down from 42,901)

Total Vaccine doses distributed: 203,915

Case Note: Defendant, serving life sentence, granted compassionate release sentence modification to indefinite home confinement after serving lengthy state sentence, upon court's finding of combination of medical vulnerability, lack of dangerousness, and a good release plan:


in U.S. v. ANGEL VELAZQUEZ, 2021 WL 3146048 (D. Neb. July 26, 2021) (Battalion, J.), the court granted defendant's compassionate release motion to the extent of resentencing him to indefinite home confinement, after he had served lengthy state sentence and 6+ years of federal life sentence, explaining: "Defendant requests that this Court reduce his sentence to time served. The probation office has filed the investigation report indicating that the suggested home confinement is acceptable, if the Court chooses to grant the motion for compassionate release. …According to the Judgment and Commitment and the SOR filed in the instant offense, “The defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of life based on the Information filed pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 to establish prior convictions, 360 months for Count I of the Second Superseding Indictment, 10 years for Count III, and 20 years for each of Counts IV, V, VI and VII of the Second Superseding Indictment, all to run concurrently. Defendant shall not be given credit for time served. Defendant shall serve his time concurrent to any time imposed by the State of Nebraska.” … He was arrested after a four-hour standoff at his home. At this time, he has served 6 years and 4 months of his federal sentence.… Next, the Court finds that defendant's physical and medical vulnerability to COVID-19 are arguably extraordinary or a compelling reason for a change in defendant's sentence. … In 2004, he had four back surgeries and a shoulder surgery. He received Social Security benefits for the back injury and disabilities prior to entering prison. He has Type II diabetes and takes medication for the same. He takes medication for hypertension. He takes medication for pain associated with his back, discs, and related orthopedic rheumatology. He has high cholesterol and takes medication for the same. He has edema and wears compression socks and uses a cane. He has vision problems and is obese. The records are confusing at best, but it appears he may have tested positive for COVID-19 in November of 2020, although he presented asymptomatic. ... There have been 196,260 doses of the vaccine administered. FCI Greenville reports 153 staff and 797 inmates vaccinated. By the Court's calculation this is an inmate vaccination rate of 67%. The Court is not informed concerning the defendant's vaccination status. The Court finds the medical evidence establishes that Velazquez is at significantly higher risk for COVID-19 complications and is in generally poor health. … According to BOP records, Mr. Velazquez is a minimum recidivism risk level, and his security classification is medium. Mr. Velazquez seems to have an acceptable place of home confinement. He would stay with his girlfriend. The probation officer conducted an in-home inspection and believes the proposed release plan and residence is acceptable. …The Court will grant the motion for compassionate release. First, the Court agrees that defendant is at substantial increased medical risk for COVID-19 and resulting illnesses. However, given the low number of COVID-19 infected inmates and staff and the 67% inmate vaccination rate, his risk does not rise to the level of an extraordinary medical situation. The defendant's medical condition is, however, very perilous. Second, the Court agrees that the record is unclear if Velazquez has already had COVID-19. Third, he has taken a number of classes while in prison, and he has not been in any significant trouble while in prison. Lastly, he has what appears to be a stable environment in which to live if released. The Court does not deem him a danger to the community. Despite his significant criminal history, the BOP has placed him in the low-risk category for recidivism, and it appears he will not be returning to the same area where he previously committed crimes. He is substantially debilitated beyond his chronologic age. Additionally, he would be living under Court supervision in a stable home.”

Death Watch: The BOP has reported no additional inmate fatalities, leaving the number of inmate fatalities at 240. Five of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff fatalities remain at 4.


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