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May 4, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 49 BOP facilities and 6 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 189 (down from 200) Currently positive-testing staff: 31 (unchanged) Recovered inmates currently in BOP: 43,989 (down from 44,029) Recovered staff: 15,275 (up from 15,274)


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

Yazoo City Low FCI: 105 (unchanged)

Alderson FPC: 28 (up from 18)

Yazoo City Medium FCI: 7 (down from 14)


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

Forrest City Low FCI: 3 (unchanged)

Central Office HQ: 2 (unchanged)

Anderson FPC: 1


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 145,391 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,615 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,641 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,289 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 350,101 (up from 350,096)


Case Note: Relief granted to defendant denied important mental health medication...


In U.S. v. AARON A. BOOKER, Defendant., No. 18-CR-2611-GPC, 2023 WL 3186296 (S.D. Cal. May 1, 2023) (Curiel, J.), the court, with the Government's willingness to not oppose once the 30-day exhaustion period runs, grants release because defendant was denied access to medication he relied on for 7 years, the denial of which exacerbated his existing mental health issues, explaining: "On April 27, 2023, Defendant Aaron Booker (“Defendant” or “Booker”) filed a Motion for Compassionate Release. ECF No. 190. The Government does not oppose Booker's Motion “once the 30-day exhaustion period runs on April 30, 2023.” Id. at 2. For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED. … The Court must determine whether Booker presents extraordinary and compelling reasons justifying his release. Booker argues that because he “continues to experience symptoms caused by the sudden cessation of prescription medication,” extraordinary and compelling reasons exist, and the Court should grant his renewed Motion. ECF No. 190 at 1. Mr. Booker states that he has suffered from suicidal ideation in the past and that “dramatic environmental changes,” such as incarceration, can be triggering for individuals in Booker's position. ECF No. 180-1 at 3. He states that he did not receive any medication or the use of a C-PAP machine since his self-surrender on March 16 until approximately April 3, and this is “the longest he had been without his medication in seven years.” ECF No. 187 at 1. Interrupting his medication “regimen can result in withdrawal symptoms, relapse in depression, and at its worst suicide is a concern.” ECF No. 180-1 at 3. The Government does not oppose. The Court finds that Booker's mental health struggles constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons justifying a twelve-day reduction in his sentence. The Court finds that serious mental health impairments can justify granting a motion for compassionate release, and the Court notes it is not bound by the Sentencing Commission's policy statement or any specific medical condition mentioned therein. See Wright, 46 F.4th at 946 (stating that after the Ninth Circuit's Aruda decision in 2021 § 1B1.13 cannot be treated as binding on a district court). Although Mr. Booker appears to now have access to his medication and C-PAP machine, the fact that Mr. Booker endured the first two and a half weeks of his incarceration without access to his medication and C-PAP machine factors heavily in this Court's consideration. Mr. Booker's conditions of confinement were harsher than the Court had anticipated at the time of sentencing, and the sentence reduction is reasonable to compensate for this time. … Although his crime was serious and involved the theft of explosive devices, it is clear to the Court that Booker's crime was committed during a tumultuous period in his life and that he has since significantly improved his life for the better. ECF No. 164 at 11. The Court finds that a twelve-day sentence reduction does not meaningfully undercut the force of the sentence imposed or its deterrent effect.”


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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