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November 10, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 85 BOP facilities and 11 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 242 (up from 234) Currently positive-testing staff: 330 (down from 333) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 48,083 (down from 48,115) Recovered staff: 14,407 (up from 14,402)


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

Carswell FMC: 54 (down from 57)

Phoenix FCI: 31 (unchanged)

SeaTac FDC: 27 (up from 26)


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

Central Office HQ: 58 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 28 (unchanged)

McKean FCI: 17 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 144,679 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,981 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,668 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,316 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 336,733 (up from 336,546)


Case Note: Defendant's eligibility for halfway house on another case as to which he is serving a concurrent sentence, + medical issues, gets him sentence reduction though not release...


In U.S. v. DAMMARKO NOLAN, Defendant, No. 1:14-CR-00214-9, 2022 WL 16832523 (N.D. Ohio Nov. 9, 2022) (Gwin, J.), the court granted a reduction of sentence, though not to time served, to defendant with substantial medical needs who is eligible for transfer to a halfway house in another case as to which he received current time, explaining: "Nine years ago, Dammarko Nolan received a 168-month prison sentence. Since then, Nolan's health has deteriorated. He now seeks relief under the compassionate-release statute. … In 2014, a grand jury indicted Nolan and 30 others for their involvement in a multi-state drug-trafficking conspiracy. Nolan had already been indicted in another drug-trafficking case under Judge Boyko. … In early June 2015, Nolan testified in the case before Judge Boyko against co-defendant Keith Ricks, the “leader of a notoriously violent criminal group.” … On June 16, 2015, Judge Boyko sentenced Nolan to 132 months’ incarceration and three years’ supervised release. On June 23, 2015, this Court sentenced Nolan to 168 months’ incarceration followed by ten years’ supervised release. Those sentences run concurrently. On June 29, 2020, Nolan moved Judge Boyko for compassionate release. Judge Boyko denied that motion on October 15, 2020. On August 27, 2020, Nolan moved this Court for compassionate release. The Court denied his motion without prejudice because Nolan had not yet completed his Judge Boyko sentence. Nolan now qualifies for release to a halfway house in Judge Boyko's sentence. So, on February 4, 2022, he filed a renewed compassionate-release motion, which the Federal Public Defender supplemented. He asks the Court to reduce his sentence to time served. … Exercising its discretion, the Court finds that Nolan's health's deterioration over his nine-year incarceration is an extraordinary and compelling reason for a sentence reduction. In 1997, a gunshot wound severed one of Nolan's femoral arteries. As a result, Nolan suffers from peripheral artery disease. Over the last five years, Nolan's vascular health has deteriorated. In December 2018, Nolan underwent vascular surgery, requiring two weeks in the hospital for wound drainage. And in November 2019, Nolan underwent a four-hour embolectomythrombectomy, requiring five days in the hospital. Doctors contemplated a third surgery, but ultimately decided that “the safest long term limb salvage strategy was to pursue a conservative approach.” Throughout 2021, Nolan reported significant circulatory problems. His left foot's toes darkened, and his left leg swelled. His surgeries caused an infection that eventually required months of oral and intravenous antibiotics. In April 2022, Nolan underwent another vascular surgery to address the infection. His recovery took more than a month—first in the hospital, and then in a skilled-nursing facility. … The Government characterizes Nolan's condition as “self-created.” Specifically, it points to Nolan's decisions to end a medical exam prematurely in January 2021 and refuse a bandage after his April 2022 surgery. But it does not explain how these decisions caused Nolan's deterioration. On the contrary, Nolan's medical history shows that he first underwent vascular surgery in 2018—well before the incidents the Government points to. So, the Court will not attribute Nolan's deterioration to his own conduct. ... Nolan's ailing health presents an extraordinary and compelling circumstance supporting a sentence modification. The Court agrees with Nolan that—even setting his incarceration during the COVID-19 pandemic aside—his ailing vascular health alone presents an extraordinary and compelling reason to modify his sentence. But the Court will also address the unique challenges the pandemic presents for Nolan. While the Sixth Circuit has said that, in most circumstances, vaccinated inmates cannot cite COVID-19 as an extraordinary and compelling reason to modify a sentence, the pandemic has made Nolan's “incarceration harsher and more punitive than would otherwise be the case” and “exceeds what the Court anticipated at the time of sentencing.” A physician who reviewed Nolan's file says that his peripheral artery disease placed him “at high risk of needing a high level of care, getting serious and debilitating complications, including limb damage and loss, and dying, should he contract COVID-19.” … Further, although most people reinfected with COVID-19 experience similar or milder symptoms when compared to their first infection, about one in eight reinfected patients experience worse symptoms the second time around. … All told, Nolan's incarceration entails harsher and more punitive conditions than the Court contemplated at sentencing. His incarceration during the pandemic therefore presents a second, independent extraordinary and compelling reason to modify his sentence. … Although the Court will reduce Nolan's sentence by 12 months, the Court rejects Nolan's request to reduce his sentence to time served. Nolan's criminal history and involvement in two simultaneous drug-trafficking conspiracy cases both counsel against immediate release.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) No new deaths within the BOP have been announced, leaving the reported inmate death toll at 309. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.


Job Posting: The Center for Justice and Human Dignity

The Center for Justice and Human Dignity is an education, advocacy, and training center, focused on advancing meaningful change in prison sentencing practices with the goal of reducing the number of people sent to prison and expanding the judicial use of alternative-to-incarceration sanctions.


The Center for Justice and Human Dignity is seeking an Executive Director who will have overall programmatic, operational, development, and fundraising responsibility for the development of CJHD and its staff, programs, public engagement, and execution of its mission. The Executive Director will establish and operationalize programmatic goals and strategic initiatives in alignment with stakeholder interests (including the board and the organization’s founder). Their role will include developing relationships with partners, establishing and implementing fundraising strategy, and leading public relations/media, programs, and operations. The Executive Director will be responsible for (in collaboration with the board and founding partner) the development and implementation of a self-sustaining, funding infrastructure to establish the organization’s full financial independence from its incubator. This position is remote and open to applicants in any location within the United States.


Respond to: aviva@aleph-institute.org


Complete Posting can be viewed here.

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