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March 9, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 303 (down from 308) Currently positive-testing staff: 441 (down from 470) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 54,417 (down from 54,496) Recovered staff: 12,182 (up from 12,149)


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

Rochester FMC: 47 (up from 46)

Marion USP: 39 (unchanged)

Alderson FPC: 17 (unchanged)

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

Central Office HQ: 30 (unchanged)

Florence ADMAX: 28 (unchanged)

Florence - High USP: 26

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 134,405 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,632 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,872 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,520 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 304,613 (up from 303,951)


Case Note: Non-retroactive change in circuit precedent vis-a-vis applicability of safety valve eligibility combined with ailing step father warrants reduction and release...

In U.S. v. IVORY WRIGHT, 2022 WL 673265 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 7, 2022) (Curiel, J.), the court found that a non-retroactive change in circuit precedent vis-a-vis applicability of safety valve eligibility combined with ailing step father warrants reduction and release, explaining: "In an objection to his Pre-Sentence Report, Wright argued that he qualified for safety valve under the First Step Act, 18 USC § 3553(f), because § 3553(f) was conjunctive, meaning that Wright was safety-valve eligible unless he had all three types of convictions: a three-point conviction, a two-point crime of violence, and four criminal history points (excluding one-point convictions). ECF No. 37 at 1. The Court rejected this argument and overruled Wright's objection to the Pre-Sentence Report. ECF No. 49 at 21. The Court ultimately sentenced Wright to the mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months[.] … Wright argues that there are three extraordinary and compelling circumstances justifying a sentence reduction: (1) the unusual length of his sentence owing to the disparity between his sentence and the sentence he would have received today under United States v. Lopez, (2) the need for Wright to care for his seriously ill stepfather; and (3) the unusually harsh conditions of confinement Wright has endured because of COVID-19. … As an initial matter, the Court finds that custodial conditions during the current COVID-19 pandemic, taken alone, are not sufficient to justify Wright's sentence reduction. … In addition, the Court sentenced Wright in October 2020, when the pandemic was well underway, and was aware of potential COVID hardships at the time of sentencing. The Court now turns to Wright's sentencing disparity argument. In Lopez, the Ninth Circuit adopted the same conjunctive reading of the First Step Act put forward by Wright at his sentencing. United States v. Lopez, 998 F.3d 431, 433 (9th Cir. 2021) (holding that § 3553(f)(1) is “unambiguously conjunctive”). If Wright had been sentenced after Lopez was decided just eight months later, Wright would have been eligible for safety valve and the Court could have departed below the mandatory minimum sentence. A disparity therefore exists between the sentence Wright received, and the sentence he might have received post-Lopez. … Wright also asserts his stepfather's severe kidney disease and a pressing need for a caretaker as a further extraordinary and compelling circumstance warranting sentence reduction. ECF No. 57 at 6. Wright's stepfather, Mr. Washington, has one remaining kidney, which is failing, and is required to undergo dialysis three days a week. ECF No. 57-1 at 8, Ex. B. He cannot drive himself to his appointments, is frequently exhausted, and must rely on a caregiver. Id. Mr. Washington was further weakened by a bout with COVID-19 in January 2020. Id. at 9. Currently, Wright's brother Dewaun provides some care, but the family states that this arrangement will not be tenable for much longer given the other demands on Dewaun's life. Id. Wright argues that, if released, he would be the sole reasonably available caregiver for his stepfather, and that he intends to become his stepfather's full-time caretaker when released from custody. As such, the Court finds that, in combination with the sentencing disparity noted above, the need for Wright to care for his severely ill parent constitutes an extraordinary and compelling reason justifying his sentence reduction.”




Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has announced no new inmate deaths, leaving the inmate death toll at 287. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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