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March 23, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 77 BOP facilities and 8 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 235 (unchanged) Currently positive-testing staff: 48 (down from 49) Recovered inmates currently in BOP: 45,047 (unchanged) Recovered staff: 15,218 (up from 15,217)


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

Allenwood FCI: 31 (unchanged)

Leavenworth USP: 20 (unchanged)

Oklahoma City FTC: 13 (unchanged)


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

Terminal Island FCI: 6 (unchanged)

Devens FMC: 4 (unchanged)

Grand Prairie: 3 (unchanged)


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 145,302 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,144 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,655 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,303 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 349,098 (unchanged)


Case Note: District court's failure to explain its denial of motion for reconsideration hindered appellate review of that ruling but initial CR motion properly denied on § 3553(a) grounds....


In U.S. v. MICHAEL MATTHEWS, Defendant-Appellant., No. 20-2019, 2023 WL 2576745 (2d Cir. Mar. 21, 2023), the Second Circuit found that although the district court’s failure to explain its denial of reconsideration prevented appellate review, it denied the initial motion based on the Government’s opposition which included a discussion of the § 3553(a) factors, which suffices, explaining: "The district court denied Matthews's motion “for substantially the reasons set forth in the Government's opposition memorandum.” App'x 2. Initially, the government had argued that Matthews's conditions did not qualify as “extraordinary and compelling reasons” and that the application of the § 3553(a) sentencing factors did not warrant a sentence reduction. 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). In supporting Matthews's motion for reconsideration but opposing his motion for compassionate release, the government conceded that Matthews's condition of pulmonary hypertension amounts to an extraordinary and compelling reason but maintained that the § 3553(a) factors still counseled against a sentence reduction. The district court denied the motion for reconsideration without explanation. The district court's failure to explain the basis for its decisions, particularly its denial of reconsideration, is troubling. See United States v. Granger, No. 21-423, 2022 WL 1132495, at *2 (2d Cir. Apr. 18, 2022). While the district court's “explanation need not be lengthy,” its failure to provide any rationale for its ruling makes it difficult to “conduct[ ] meaningful appellate review.” United States v. Young, 998 F.3d 43, 56 (2d Cir. 2021) (internal quotation marks omitted).Nevertheless, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Matthews's motions because we understand the district court to have relied on the government's argument that the § 3553(a) factors counseled against any reduction in sentence. These factors include, among other things, the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant, the need for the sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offense and provide just punishment, and the need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) Today, the BOP announced no new COVID-related deaths, leaving the total number of inmate COVID-related deaths at 314. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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