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May 3, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 53 BOP facilities and 5 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 200 (up from 192) Currently positive-testing staff: 31 (unchanged) Recovered inmates currently in BOP: 44,029 (down from 44,057) Recovered staff: 15,274 (unchanged)


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

Yazoo City Low FCI: 105 (up from 104)

Alderson FPC: 18

Yazoo City Medium FCI: 14 (unchanged)


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

Forrest City Low FCI: 3 (unchanged)

Central Office HQ: 2 (unchanged)

Coleman Low FCI: 2


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 145,388 (down from 145,481) federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,504 (up from 13,463) in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,641 (up from 128,640) Positive tests: 55,289 (up from 55,288)


Total vaccine doses administered: 350,096 (up from 350,076)


Case Note: 18-month sentence reduction granted to account for harsh COVID conditions and defendant's medical issues....


In U.S. v. ROMAN KITROSER, Defendant., No. 15 CR. 19-1 (KPF), 2023 WL 3173513, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. May 1, 2023) (Failla, J.), the court reduced defendant's 300-month sentence -- now largely served -- by 18 months to account for the harsh conditions occasioned by COVID as well as the flurry of medical issues defendant dealt with during his period of incarceration, explaining: "Mr. Kitroser advances an additional argument for compassionate release based on his medical conditions — namely, that through BOP neglect or inattention, he has received substandard medical treatment for those conditions, especially for his psoriasis and his bunion. (Dkt. #161 at 14-15; Dkt. #167 at 2). The Court has reviewed with care several hundred pages of medical records concerning Mr. Kitroser's treatment while in BOP custody. On the whole, it believes that BOP has responded promptly and appropriately to Mr. Kitroser's medical conditions. The fact remains, however, that Mr. Kitroser has had a number of medical issues while in federal detention, including a November 2022 incident in which Mr. Kitroser fell and was injured in the shower, either as a result of a seizure or a prison assault. (Dkt. #168, 170, 171). It appears to the Court that the most acute of Mr. Kitroser's medical issues have been resolved. That said, the fact that Mr. Kitroser has experienced so many medical issues while incarcerated suggests that his detention, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in more deleterious consequences to his health than were faced by other federal inmates during this period. This conclusion dovetails with another basis that this Court has recognized for compassionate release, namely, that the conditions of Mr. Kitroser's confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a sentence that was more severe than the Court could have contemplated when it originally sentenced him in June 2016. While the Court sought to carefully balance the information then available, it could not have foreseen the restrictions that would be precipitated by the pandemic (including lockdowns and curtailment of facility programming and visitation), nor the public health risks faced by individuals like Mr. Kitroser who have spent the entirety of the pandemic in a carceral setting, nor the length of time over which these risks and deprivations would persist. And in a prior decision resolving a compassionate release motion, the Court recognized “that courts reviewing motions for sentence modifications have considered the extent to which onerous lockdowns and restrictions imposed by correctional facilities attempting to control the spread of the virus have made sentences ‘harsher and more punitive than would otherwise have been the case.’ ” United States v. Hatcher, No. 18 Cr. 454-10 (KPF), 2021 WL 1535310, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 19, 2021) (quoting United States v. Rodriguez, 492 F. Supp. 3d 306, 311 (S.D.N.Y. 2020)); see also United States v. Mcrae, No. 17 Cr. 643 (PAE), 2021 WL 142277, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2021) (“[A] day spent in prison under extreme lockdown and in fear of contracting a deadly virus exacts a price on a prisoner beyond that imposed by an ordinary day in prison. While not intended as punishment, incarceration in such conditions is, unavoidably, more punishing.”). In short, the Court has previously concluded, and concludes here, that pandemic-induced conditions of confinement can constitute “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances warranting compassionate release, particularly for defendants who have (i) served long sentences and (ii) been detained for the entirety of the pandemic. Here, using the metrics of his mental and physical health, Mr. Kitroser has experienced harsher conditions of confinement than could have been anticipated, and the Court finds that the length and totality of these conditions amount to extraordinary and compelling circumstances under § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). It therefore proceeds to consider whether such relief is warranted in this case in light of the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). … . For all of these reasons, the Court will grant Mr. Kitroser's motion to the extent that it will impose an 18-month reduction in his sentence.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The total number of inmate COVID-related deaths is 317. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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