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June 22, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 157 (down from 192) Currently positive-testing staff: 301 (up from 289) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 50,545 (down from 50,549) Recovered staff: 12,970 (up rom 12,941)


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

Petersburg Low FCI: 22 (unchanged)

Phoenix FCI: 14

Marianna FCI: 12 (down from 32)

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

Central Headquarters: 34 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 16 (unchanged)

Honolulu FDC: 14

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 140,039 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,631 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,714 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,362 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 321,834 (unchanged)


Case Note: BOP's neglectful medical treatment cost defendant sight in one eye but gained his release...


In U.S. v. Derentz, No. CR 15-418, 2022 WL 2192931 (E.D. Pa. June 17, 2022) (Rufe, J.), the BOP's neglectful medical treatment resulted in defendant losing eyesight in his left eye, and in his early release, the court explaining: "On February 29, 2016, Derentz pled guilty to one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The Court imposed a sentence of 151 months for the first count and 120 months for the second count, with both terms to run concurrently. … Medical conditions may constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons to grant a motion for compassionate release. … Courts have also found that “grossly inadequate treatment” for a defendant's medical condition in BOP custody, including delays in treatment, may qualify as an extraordinary and compelling reason for compassionate release. Derentz's medical records indicate that he has not received timely care for his serious ocular conditions on multiple occasions. Although the government contends “that Derentz's vision issues have been attended to both in house at Fort Dix and by physicians at Wills Eye Hospital,” notes from Derentz's visits to Wills belie this argument. On August 10, 2020, after losing vision in his left eye, Derentz visited Wills, where he was diagnosed with a vitreous hemorrhage in his left eye and a horseshoe tear of the retina without detachment in his right eye. Although Wills recommended a follow-up appointment in one week, the BOP did not return Derentz to Wills until September 28, 2020, approximately a month and a half later. At that appointment, a doctor indicated that Derentz presented total retinal detachment in his left eye and that he should be scheduled for surgery “this week or early next week.” However, Derentz was “[lost to follow-up] from 9/28/20 - 11/3/20, after multiple attempts to reach [the] prison.” When Derentz returned to Wills on November 3, 2020, over a month later, surgery was no longer recommended due to changes in the condition of his left eye. In short, the BOP's repeated delays contributed to Derentz becoming partially blind. The BOP returned Derentz to Wills on November 25, 2020, and his condition remained the same. Although Derentz should have returned for another appointment in six to eight weeks, the BOP did not arrange for another appointment until April 22, 2021, nearly five months later. At that time, Derentz's condition was stable and the doctor recommended that he return for another appointment in six months. Derentz had an optometry exam at FCI Fort Dix on September 27, 2021, and the optometrist requested that he be scheduled for his follow-up appointment at Wills in October of 2021. Despite marking the request as “urgent,” Derentz was not taken to Wills for follow up until November 10, 2021. Derentz's condition remained stable, and staff at Wills recommended that he return again in six months. The BOP's repeated delays in scheduling Derentz for follow-up appointments, even after staff at Wills attempted to contact FCI Fort Dix multiple times to arrange his surgery, are deeply concerning. The BOP's history of failing to timely schedule appointments gives the Court little confidence that Derentz could obtain an urgently needed procedure if, or more likely when, his vision deteriorates further. Indeed, a lack of follow up after his appointments in the fall of 2020 rendered Derentz's left eye inoperable, and a practitioner at Wills noted that Derentz was “a poor surgical candidate as he has not been able to establish proper follow up that would be required in the postoperative period.” Derentz also asserts that the BOP has failed to provide him with new glasses despite the fact that he received a prescription in September of 2021. Accordingly, the BOP's repeated delays in arranging for care to protect Derentz's vision constitute an extraordinary and compelling reason for release. Even where an extraordinary and compelling reason for release is established, the Court must evaluate the sentencing factors enumerated in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). … Derentz's convictions are undeniably serious. Derentz, a retired Philadelphia school teacher, possessed hundreds of images and videos depicting child pornography, as well as thousands of images and videos that showed young children in various states of undress, on his computers and external hard drive. … Although the government contends that Derentz has failed “to demonstrate how release, [60] months into a 151-month sentence for a child exploitation offense, reflects the seriousness of the offense, promotes respect for the law, and provides just punishment for the offense,” Congress established a mandatory minimum sentence for Derentz's distribution offense. Derentz has already served a period of incarceration equivalent to that term, and a sentence that aligns with the statutorily prescribed minimum is consistent with respect for the law. Further, the Court will extend the term of supervised release from five to ten years and impose home confinement for two years as a condition of the supervised release. These restrictions result in a sentence comparable to those imposed on similarly situated offenders and reflect the seriousness of the offenses. … It is disturbing that the BOP has failed to attend to Derentz's eye conditions in a timely manner. Delays in securing urgently needed follow-up appointments contributed to Derentz becoming blind in his left eye. These unexplained, unjustified delays constitute an extraordinary and compelling reason for release, and the § 3553(a) sentencing factors weigh in favor of granting Derentz's motion.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified the death, on May 22, 2022, of William Russell Mills, 65, of FMC Fort Worth, raising the inmate death toll to 296. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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