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September 30, 2021: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Quick Facts (Full BOP Stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 475 (down from 480) Currently positive-testing staff: 507 (up from 496) Recovered inmates: 43,017 (down from 43,032) Recovered staff: 7,751 (up from 7,741)


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

Beaumont USPI: 69 (up from 67)

Herlong FCI: 68 (up from 66)

Sheridan FCI: 62 (down from 71)

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

Oakdale I FCI: 27 (unchanged)

Phoenix FCI: 27 (unchanged)

Forrest City Low FCI 16 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 131,647 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,508 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 122,205 (down from 122,271) Positive tests: 43,026 (down from 43,043)

Total vaccine doses administered: 226,876

Case Note: Another case where BOP's failure to provide adequate care to someone who had been transferred to home confinement justifies, with other factors, compassionate release...


In U.S. v. CHARLES BERNARD PARKE, 2021 WL 4440046 (D. Mont. Sept. 28, 2021) (Morris, CJ.), the court found that, considering the BOP transferred defenant to home confinement given his heart transplant, and the BOP’s failure to care for him while he in their charge, and that his career offender status would not even apply today, he can stay out, explaining: "On March 3, 2021, Defendant Charles Bernard Parke moved the Court (Doc. 137) to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). He is currently serving a sentence of 262 months for a federal drug offense. See Judgment (Doc. 55). His scheduled release date is August 16, 2027. See Inmate Locator, www.bop.gov/inmateloc (accessed Sept. 20, 2021). Parke is currently on home release with his sister and niece in Bellevue, Nebraska, having been approved for home confinement by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). (Doc. 151) at 2. Parke's sister and niece are soon to move to South Dakota and Parke has been told by his parole officer that this move endangers his continued home confinement and may mandate his return to Terminal Island FCI. … Parke suffers from several, serious medical conditions that put him at continued risk of contracting COVID-19, including morbid obesity, hypertension, and multiple heart valve replacements. … Terminal Island FCI has also withheld and postponed treatment for Parke's heart condition in the past due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. See (Doc. 140-2) at 4, 12, 16. The BOP assigned Parke to home confinement in recognition of the fact that “home confinement would present a lower risk of contracting COVID-19” in light of his “specific covid-19 risk factors ... obesity, hypertension, and heart valve transplant.” (Doc. 140-2) at 44. The BOP's choice to temporarily remove Parke from Terminal Island FCI, in conjunction with his prior issues attaining care while there, demonstrates that Parke's symptoms have diminished his ability to function in prison. He has shown an extraordinary and compelling reason for permanent release. … Changes in federal law since Parke's designation as a career offender provide additional support for his release. Congress amended the Controlled Substances Act in 2018 to exclude hemp from its definition of controlled substance, whereas Montana Code Annotated § 50-32-101(18) fails to distinguish marijuana from hemp and other plants with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Where the state law is broader than its federal counterpart, it no longer qualifies as a predicate offense for career offender status under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. See United States v. Bautista, 989 F.3d 698, 701 (9th Cir. 2021). Parke's Montana marijuana conviction would not have qualified him as a career offender were he sentenced today. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), the Court should analyze the need for the sentence imposed to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense. The change in federal law since Parke's conviction indicates that the sentence enhancement Parke received for his marijuana conviction is not necessary to reflect the seriousness of the offense, nor to promote respect for the law. Parke's medical condition is an extraordinary and compelling reason warranting his release. With appropriate conditions of supervision, he will not pose a danger to others and granting him compassionate relief is supported under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.”


Death Watch (press releases announcing BOP COVID-related deaths may be found here): The BOP has added an additional inmate fatality, and put a name to apreviously tallied inmate fatality: Elize Parker, 75 of FMC Devens, who died July 8, 2021, bringing the inmate death toll to 260. Ten of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 6.


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