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November 15, 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 9 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 202 (down from 257) Currently positive-testing staff: 304 (down from 328) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 48,102 (up from 48,052) Recovered staff: 14,441 (up from 14,441)


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

Carswell FMC: 69 (up from 52)

Victorville Medium II FCI: 22

Fort Dix FCI: 13


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 144,900 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,842 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,663 (up from 128,661) Positive tests: 55,311 (up from 55,309)


Total vaccine doses administered: 337,368 (up from 337,176)


Case Note: Lack of mental health treatment recommended by court at sentencing was due in part to defendant's own misconduct, mitigating against grant of compassionate release...


In U.S. v. LUQMAN GOTTI, No. 3:18-CR-335 (VAB), 2022 WL 16848237 (D. Conn. Nov. 10, 2022) (Bolden, J.), the court, although emphasizing at sentencing the need for mental health treatment, denied compassionate release because the unavailability thereof was not due to the pandemic but rather do, among other reasons to defendant's own conduct and that, in any event, some alternatives were available to him in prison, explaining: "Mr. Gotti first argues for release because his imprisonment sentence was based on “Mr. Gotti receiving significant and long overdue mental health treatment” that he has been unable to receive in BOP to date. Suppl. Mot. at 3–4. Mr. Gotti emphasizes the Court's reasoning during sentencing, particularly noting that the Court stated, “given his extensive childhood abuse, persistent substance abuse as well as related addiction issues ... and limited therapeutic opportunities, a downward departure or variance ... would only be appropriate to the extent Mr. Gotti could not receive the necessary mental health treatment in a facility under the control of Bureau of Prisons.” Id. at 4 (citing Sentencing Mem. at 29). Mr. Gotti states that, despite having served a significant portion of his sentence, BOP has not provided him with any of the mental health treatment contemplated by this Court's sentencing decision. Id. … In response to Mr. Gotti's first argument, the Government argues Mr. Gotti has not received residential or non-residential sex offender treatment because he did not initially qualify due to various disciplinary violations and, once he re-applied, there was not enough time remaining in his sentence to complete the program. Opp'n at 11. The Government also notes that Mr. Gotti was offered an opportunity to participate in the Sexual Self-Regulation program but declined to participate. Id. Additionally, the Government states that Mr. Gotti enrolled in other forms of programming, including anger management programs. Id. … In reply, Mr. Gotti emphasizes his inability to access to the Sexual Offender Treatment Program. Reply at 2. Additionally, Mr. Gotti provided additional information that shows he completed the Sexual Self-Regulation Program and that he was denied access to the Sexual Offender Treatment Program because it is not available at USP Thomson and he does not have enough time left in his sentence to be transferred to another facility and start and complete the program. Overall, the Court agrees with the Government. As it relates to Mr. Gotti's first argument, United States v. Hatcher, 18 CR. 454-10 (KPF), 2021 WL 1535310 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 19, 2021) is instructive. There, the defendant was granted compassionate release due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The court gave considerable weight to the “critical mental health and rehabilitative services” that the defendant needed and that the court had “envisioned her receiving while incarcerated.” Id. at *4. The court, however, emphasized that the defendant was not able to access these services, not due to any acts by the defendant, but due to “extreme lockdown conditions.” Id.; see also United States v. Dones, No. 3:18-cr-246 (JBA), 2021 WL 6063238, at *4 (D. Conn. Dec. 22, 2021) (finding it significant that “Mr. Drones has been confined in quarantine” and therefore, “he reports receiving no drug rehabilitation counseling, no vocational training, no English language instruction—no programming or training whatsoever—since the pandemic began”). Notably, here, Mr. Gotti was unable to participate in the Sexual Offender Treatment Program and Residential Drug Abuse Program due to his disciplinary infractions rather than circumstances created by COVID-19 or otherwise outside of his control. Additionally, unlike the defendants in Hatcher and Dones, Mr. Gotti has treatment resources available. Mr. Gotti has completed the Anger Management Program and the Sexual Self-Regulation Program which “was initially developed for use in the ... Sex Offender Treatment Programs.” Suppl. Reply at 13; Opp'n at 11; Ex. D to Opp'n at 41, ECF No. 100-4. Mr. Gotti may also decide to enroll in the Basic Cognitive Skills course, which “is consistent with the cognitive skills modules utilized in ... the Sex Offender Treatment Program,” is available at all BOP institutions, and only requires 24 hours of programming participation. Ex. D to Opp'n at 7, ECF No. 100-4. While the programming Mr. Gotti has available is not a replacement for the more intensive 500-hour Sex Offender Treatment Program or 500-hour Residential Drug Abuse Program, these alternatives show that Mr. Gotti has some resources available to continue his mental health treatment. To be clear, as the Court stated in its sentencing memorandum, Mr. Gotti's access to mental health care is important, particularly in light of the childhood abuse he experienced and his challenges with substance abuse. At this time, however, the unavailability of the Sexual Offender Treatment Program and the Residential Drug Abuse Program does not warrant relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A).”


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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