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March 11, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 235 (down from 291) Currently positive-testing staff: 423 (unchanged) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 54,330 (up from 54,324) Recovered staff: 12,214 (up from 12,210)


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

Rochester FMC: 47 (unchanged)

Alderson FPC: 15 (unchanged)

Marion USP: 11 (down from 39)

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

Central Office HQ: 30 (unchanged)

Florence ADMAX: 28 (unchanged)

Florence - High USP: 26 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 134,472 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,869 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,872 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,520 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 305,769 (up from 305,262)


Case Note: "In light of Sanders's health conditions, the lack of treatment afforded her, and the senseless deprivation of certain medical aides, the Court finds that Sanders has established that extraordinary and compelling circumstances warrant her release."

In U.S. v. JENNIFER SANDERS, 2022 WL 704164 (D.N.M. Mar. 9, 2022) (Brack, J.), the court found that neglectful medical treatment as a result of COVID, combined with BOP’s (and AUSAs) unexplained decision to reverse her release resulting from earned time credit under FSA as she alighted from the bus to greet her family is extraordinary and compelling, explaining: "On July 18, 2014, Sanders pled guilty to a superseding indictment charging one count of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams and more of methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and seven counts of distribution of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 (a)(1) and (b)(1)(B). (See Docs. 49; 102.) The Court sentenced Sanders to 130 months imprisonment. (Doc. 227) She has served approximately 96 months or 74% of that sentence, and her projected release date is January 18, 2023. … The Court agrees that Sanders suffers from medical conditions that put her at a higher risk for severe illness in the face of COVID-19. She has been diagnosed with COPD, asthma, and a history of high blood pressure. … Sanders goes on to argue that other extraordinary circumstances are at play. First, “the prison's response to COVID-19 has prevented [her] from receiving critical treatment for her slew of deteriorating conditions.” (Doc. 410 at 15.) She “has been denied her much-needed back surgery for her scoliosis, monthly injections for her heel spurs, eye treatment for her poor vision, lower dentures, and a uterine sling for complications from her hysterectomy.” (Id. at 13 (citing Doc. 411).) The Government fails to respond to this statement. (See Doc. 415.) Further, Sanders contends that since filing her motion, circumstances have occurred that emphasize the appropriateness of release. She asserts that on January 26, 2022, she “was informed that she would be released” pursuant to a new BOP rule implemented under the First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3632(d)(4). (Doc. 421 at 3.) The rule provides “that nonviolent inmates who participated in Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction Programs (‘EBRR’) or Productive Activities (‘PAs’) on or after December 21, 2018, would earn ten days of FSA Time Credits ‘for every thirty-day period [of participation] ... based on the inmate's risk and needs assessment.’ ” (Id. at 1 (quoting 28 C.F.R. § 523.42(c)(1)).) Inmates “ ‘determined by the Bureau to be at a minimum or low risk for recidivating; and ... [have] maintained a consistent minimum or low risk of recidivism over the most recent two consecutive risk and needs assessments ...’ would ‘earn an additional five days of FSA Time Credits.” (Id. (quoting § 523.42(c)(2)).) Sanders was to be released pursuant to the new rule. (See id. at 3.) “She packed her most vital belongings[,] ... including her birth certificate, expired driver's license, medications, glasses, legal papers, and a debit card that she had diligently saved $2,300 with while she was serving her sentence.” (Id. at 3–4.) She boarded a bus with other inmates, disembarked in Las Cruces, and prepared to greet the friend who had come to collect her. (Id. at 4.) As she was in line with the other inmates waiting to retrieve her belongings from under the bus, a United States Marshal approached Sanders and told her that she needed to go with the Marshal. (Id.) Sanders was prohibited from retrieving her bag from the bus or releasing it to her waiting friend. (Id.) The Marshal took Sanders to the Otero County Detention Center and “explained that the Bureau of Prisons had made a mistake about her release, and she would be transported back to prison.” (Id.) Sanders has no other information and her belongings have not been located. Consequently, “she has been unable to see without her glasses, eat without her dentures, take the medications necessary for her fragile health condition, contract her family and friends, work with her counsel to assist in representing her, and been deprived of $2,300.” (Id.) The Government has not responded to Sanders's supplemental motion. Sanders has since been released to a residentiary reentry center but argues that her motion for compassionate release is still ripe and meritorious. (Doc. 422 at 2 (citing United States v. Gibson, No. 18-20091-JAR-4, 2021 WL 5578553 (D. Kan. Nov. 30, 2021) (granting compassionate release to an inmate at a residential reentry facility).) In light of Sanders's health conditions, the lack of treatment afforded her, and the senseless deprivation of certain medical aides, the Court finds that Sanders has established that extraordinary and compelling circumstances warrant her release.”



Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has announced one new inmate death, that of Joseph Robson Sr., 82, of FCI Seagoville, bringing the inmate death toll at 288. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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